Data mining and data analytics are currently the top area of concern among internal auditors, according to the annual TeamMate Internal Audit Technology Survey (IATS). The survey, which gathers information on core internal audit trends at the end of each year, received responses from nearly 820 auditors from around the world who use the TeamMate audit management system.
When asked which technology tools they expect to use to a greater extent over the next two years, data analytics took the top spot among respondents, slightly edging out Risk assessment technology, which was ranked first the year before, moved to second place. The results indicate that data mining, despite its widespread use, is a relatively new practice for many organizations.
While data analytics-related issues are a critical concern for internal auditors as they move forward in 2013 and beyond, many seem to face barriers when it comes to data access. The most common issue was a lack of specific data-related training, which was cited by nearly 50 percent of all respondents. Another common challenge was a shortage of requisite skills, with about 20 percent of respondents indicating they have been unable to hire or acquire the necessary skills to achieve their data-related objectives.
“Issues related to training and identifying individuals with the right skill set can have a major impact on an audit department’s ability to move up the data mining maturity curve,” said Mike Gowell, vice president and global general manager, TeamMate. “The survey shows there is significant opportunity for many internal audit teams to grow in these areas and enhance the value they bring to their organizations.”
About half of the IATS respondents positioned themselves in the initial stage of data mining and data analytics maturity, which means they have an initial data-retrieval tool, use computer assisted audit techniques (CAATs) on some audits, and have some technology specialists providing skill support.
Only two percent of respondents say they have achieved an optimized level of maturity, with a highly-skilled data team that develops new internal audit routines, including continuous controls and risk monitoring that are sought by business-unit management.
TeamMate is the world’s most widely-used audit management system. More than 90,000 auditors and over 2,000 organizations across the world rely on TeamMate to improve the audit process, including risk assessment, scheduling, planning, execution, review, report generation, trend analysis, committee reporting and storage.