Why not more data analytics?

Mike Vilimek from ACL.com discovered my History of Data Analytics (a la Coderre) post  that lists links to articles written by David Coderre. These  older articles (one is from 1993) describe how data analytics was used and viewed in the past.

At the end of Mike’s post, Data Analytics – Then and Now, this question is posed: What does the future of data analytics hold? (it appears the blog post was removed from the ACL blog).

The question got me thinking, but the response I posted to the Mike’s post (see below) has more to do with today than future…

I’m just surprised that so few of my fellow auditors use data analytics; even fewer use it for IT audit and IT SOX audit. What puzzles me even more is that my fellow auditors tell me they do mostly one-time audits, which explains why they don’t use or write scripts. I always use them even on those one-time projects, as sometimes it takes a few iterations to get the proper analysis.

Obviously, many companies don’t see the value, but why? Even a modest number of ACL licenses is not a big investment to get started, especially when you can Teach Yourself ACL.

Here’s my hunch on why some companies don’t do data analytics: some audit departments are run by old school chief audit executives that don’t understand the technology and/or don’t trust those below them to run with it because the CAE won’t be able to explain it to fellow VPs.

Sound harsh? From the stories I’ve heard, I just think it’s true.

Let me know what you think



Filed under ACL, Audit, Data Analytics

2 responses to “Why not more data analytics?

  1. There seem to be any number of reasons why analytics are not used more often. Lack of understanding of benefits and the cost involved are often cited as the main reasons. I believe that Jim Kaplan’s site is hosting a webinar on this topic coming up in December 2010


    • ITauditSecurity

      As I noted in the post above, I don’t think it’s cost, at least not for the software. Maybe for the training.

      Lack of understanding of the benefits is a big one–and I don’t think audit teams that DO use data analytics understand this cost benefit: ability to doing the same analysis period after period. Why do I think this? Because so many auditors that do use ACL don’t script their audits. They click the menus and they’re done; they don’t automate it for next time.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.