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Data Analytics Technology

Big data analytics has the power to predict the weather forecast, manage your workforce and even battle Parkinson’s disease.

Data advances are everywhere. It can help your organisation increase revenue and find out more about what your customers really want.  When data is analysed by the right people using the right technology it can be a powerful tool and it can even motivate your employees. Almost a third of workers admit that they would be happy for employers to access personal data, such as their social media profiles, to be better motivated at work. This will in turn increase employee performance and retention. Employers can further use this data to spot retention and performance issues and over half of HR professionals said that they were preparing for this shift.

An increase in data is not only changing the workplace, it is also changing the accuracy of information available, like weather forecasts. Years ago, the weather was calculated by monitoring cloud patterns and astrology. Now, thanks to massive amounts of data and advanced computers it is significantly more accurate. But it is about to become more accurate still – hyper-local real time weather forecasting is just around the corner. Part of the reason weather forecasts are becoming more accurate is the data and variables that can be entered into the predictions.

Big data analytics can even be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Data collected from hundreds of patients will be used to analyse symptoms of the illness such as sleep quality, slowness of movement and tremor. The findings will be used for drug development, diagnosis and treatment.

While big data analytics is a powerful tool, the right people and technology are still needed to unlock it’s full potential. High volumes of data make accessing results and information in real time a challenge, which is where data analytics software can benefit any organisation. By eliminating the lengthy time process of drawing up the different data and conducting further analysis, computer assisted audit tools (CAATs) allow you to focus on the import part of data analysis – reviewing and reporting the results.

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Audit Technology

Computer Aided Audit Technology and why it triumphs Excel.

Many continue to use spreadsheet tools as their ‘default’ approach for data analysis for a few main reasons. Obviously the software has high availability, with the majority of businesses use Microsoft™ as their operating system whist Microsoft Excel® is the most recognised spreadsheet tool in the market for data entry.

It becomes a habit. Spreadsheet tools are familiar, comfortable and many (instinctively) attempt to use a spreadsheet tool to fulfil data analysis objectives. There is a lack of CAAT awareness/knowledge, with many unaware that specialist data analysis tools exist! Not willing to invest in data analytic software. Adopting a CAAT approach is a relatively inexpensive option. However, there will always be an appeal to continue using spreadsheet tools for data analysis as it is a free approach requiring no further investment.

What many don’t know is all the limitations of using spreadsheet tools for data analysis, over CAAT technology. Firstly the volume. For perspective, Microsoft Excel 2003 is limited to 65,536 rows of data or in Microsoft Excel 2007 the record limit is 1,048,576 rows. Interactive Data Extraction and Analysis (IDEA) can analyse 2.1 billion rows of data per an unlimited number of sheets. Spreadsheets offer little-to no data integrity. The data can be manipulated with any accidental or deliberate strikes to the keyboard, losing valuable time and effort in your analysis. In comparison, core data cannot be changed once imported into IDEA.

Spreadsheet tools do not record tests performed on the data set, nor contain a log feature which shows documented proof to accompany the audit plan. IDEA automatically creates a history log which is a complete audit trail of the tests performed (and who performed it). The history trail cannot be deleted. Spreadsheet tools are not audit tools and have been designed and developed for data input and reporting only. As an independent, purpose-built data analysis tool, IDEA has most of the commonly used audit tests available as ‘one button’ click options.

Data viewed on the screen is usually a spreadsheets interpretation of the imported data. A good example is how a spreadsheet tool interprets a date field: A date downloaded from the host system held as 08/12/01 may display as 08-Dec-2001. This on its own may not seem important but Excel (for example) will hold this date as a number of days since 1st Jan 1900. If the spreadsheet was then saved and an attempt was made to view the source data the date would have changed to a number.

IDEA software is the market leading Computer Assisted Audit Tool/Technique (CAAT) which has been designed to help any user analyse, manipulate and interrogate huge quantities of data held from any business platform/system. IDEA does not rely on business intelligence and therefore no data interpretations are made whatsoever. What you see is a true snapshot of the imported data ready for analysis. Not only that but IDEA is the most user-friendly and cost-effective tool available, making it an easy transaction from your existing spreadsheet auditing tool.

IDEA Software

For more information please get in contact with us and visit our website, www.auditware.co.uk

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