Data analytics is the new frontier for internal audit. It allows internal audit to implement better controls, gives management the opportunity to make data-backed decisions and provides Directors and other stakeholders with better visibility into the organization and its risks.
The data analysis process is particularly powerful at quickly pulling accurate information from disparate systems. It builds data accumulation, analysis and reporting engines to facilitate the decision-making process within litigation support, fraud analysis, carve-outs, corporate reorganization, credit portfolio valuations, securitizations and accounts payable systems attestations.
Focal Point has a dedicated team of data analytics experts that has helped dozens of companies at all stages of analytics maturity. And unlike specialty firms, Focal Point has experts with backgrounds in technology, business and audit. Our team is composed of credentialed experts (ACDAs, former Chief Audit Executives and data analysts with backgrounds in both industry and consulting. We understand the unique needs of internal audit with respect to data analytics, and specialize in communicating and project planning with stakeholders across the business.
While every data analysis project is customized to the client’s needs, our data analysis engagements typically include a combination of the following processes.
Focal Point's data mining process allows our clients to better understand their business problems and opportunities. The process involves looking for missing or hidden information and identifying trends or patterns. These activities enable employees and management to be more efficient in their work. Data mining is critical to the success of most data analysis projects.
The data quality process clearly defines the specific accountability of data within an enterprise, reinforcing roles and responsibilities with process-specific and technology-enhanced best practices. The process aims to minimize irrelevant data and ensure data integrity. Focal Point prescribes data quality tests to determine valuable and relevant data, allowing your organization to begin analysis with a greater likelihood of success.
The data migration process manipulates and cleanses data before moving it into a new system. The transformation process typically requires reconciliation and migration of information from multiple sources and this process efficiently prepares clean data for transfer and allows new applications to be deployed with confidence. Focal Point has supported numerous data migrations from legacy ERP systems to new systems, providing our clients with a much greater likelihood of go-live success.
Reporting with timely and accurate information is the key to effective decision making. Most systems and applications create canned reports that do not provide relevant or usable information. Proper data reporting allows data to be obtained, analyzed, massaged, reconciled and reported in ways that are more effective for your organization. When reporting is built around repeatable and regular processes, it can yield significant cost savings and provide executives with the information they need to make well-informed decisions. Focal Point has helped many organizations develop and automate custom reporting processes built around their business needs.
Corporate intelligence is the rapid deployment of tactical and decision-enabling solutions. These solutions allow clients to gain greater business value from their data. Data intelligence activities are ideal for clients with disparate systems, weak procurement practices, costly report or web content production, XML and other interfacing needs or simply a shortage of IT resources to quickly build and deploy technology solutions. Focal Point has helped many clients deploy business intelligence solutions, delivering real and immediate value to their organizations.