For those on the outside looking in, the contributions made to the business by the audit function might not be fully appreciated. Similarly unsung is the central role occupied by applying analytic strategies for audit, recognized by industry leaders. KNIME Data Talks: Audit cracked that nut.
At this online event, which brought together over 500 people from the international audit community, we heard how ING, Société Générale, Tata Steel Europe, and Rabobank have adopted a data science mindset for process discovery and automation, full population testing - as well as to scale up their analytics.
A common theme was the driver behind implementing data analytics. There is a clear ambition for organizations to promote and nurture a data driven culture to deliver more impactful outcomes and include a broader audience of talent in the creation and sharing of those outcomes. There is also a clear need for automation and reusability, flexibility, integration, and scalability. This is motivating businesses to move away from manual, error-prone processes and Excel spreadsheets, towards repeatable, shareable, and secure(!) workflows with a tool that enables fast user adoption.
Tjasse Biewenga (ING) summarized it well, pointing out the importance of data analytics for a company to remain relevant. A tool like KNIME gives auditors easy access not just to basic analytics but also advanced techniques such as machine learning - for if and when they want to apply it.
When transforming to a data driven culture, Michiel Krol (Rabobank) commented how critical it is to be able to scale your analytics endeavors to a large number of people who maybe aren’t all data scientists. With a tool like KNIME, 320 auditors at Rabobank have been able to get up to speed quickly and easily. He estimated that about 90% of what his team does is basic analytics. But a solution that has AI in its toolkit is important. Looking into the future, businesses are developing, and advanced analytics will make a difference.
“It was amazing to listen how four organizations have adopted KNIME Software in Audit and get a glimpse into the successes they have achieved,” said Mihály Medzihradsky, co-host of the event together with Jason Denzin, who respectively head the Americas and EMEA Field Operations at KNIME. “Yes, the chance to host the platform for such a heavy-hitting cast of industry leaders - what a privilege!”
An engaging panel discussion concluded the event and covered topics such as whether the drive to implement analytics into audit is rather a top-down management request, or intrinsic motivation from enthusiastic auditing experts? How to handle resistance in applying analytics in the auditing space. And lastly, what the minimum skills are for an auditor to have in order to get started with KNIME. To which, Aadesh Gandhre from Société Générale, summed up perfectly: “If you can do a VLookup in Excel, you can do a String Manipulation in KNIME!”