The road to implementing data analytics begins with defining the elements of a program.
To explain analytics programs, it is useful to break them into five elements:
- Program approach/fit — Why internal audit wants/has the program, and how the program fits with the mission of the organization and internal audit, in particular.
- Test development process — The workflow, tools, and templates auditors use to approach these projects, get support, and track and obtain consistent results.
- Development Roadmap — What internal audit will tackle first, what it will tackle next, and when it should re-evaluate the pipeline order. Also, why did the audit function choose this order?
- Analytic tools and techniques — These tools and techniques start with access to data sources, and extend to analysis and communication approaches needed to process and explore the data to get the answers auditors seek. Beyond a tool, internal audit needs a toolbox.
- Key Contacts — Members of the audit team and audit clients, as well as stakeholders who have interest in the results and understand the process. These contacts give auditors access to data and advice about how to interpret it. These individuals also can help with research and following up on findings. Key contacts will likely change with each new project under the program.