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Moving Forward with Data Analysis

Software Selection Guide

While data analysis tools have been around for more than 25 years, the rate of adoption is growing exponentially due to the amount of data auditors are required to analyze. The use of data analysis technology is part of a bigger movement to help auditors increase audit coverage, perform more thorough and consistent audits, and ultimately increase assurance levels. There are numerous technologies to choose from, and this guide offers some assistance in selecting the right professional-grade data analytics tools for your department. Follow the step-by-step process to narrow your choices, then complete the Software Selection Matrix.


Data Analysis Process


The components of a robust data analysis tool


Data Analysis Process


Software Selection Road Map


1. Needs Analysis

A proper needs analysis should help identify gaps in the audit departments capabilities.



  • Inventory staff skills and technology tools.
  • Determine Information Policies & Standards
  • Understand the approval process
  • Integrate knowledge into your Strategic
    Planning Model

2. Financial Feasibility

What can you afford?
Budget should not dictate which software is slected, but it my impact the rate of distribution, or slow the pace of the rooll-out across your staff.


When you are examining the cost of a data analysis solution, consider the following in addition to your intitial costs:

  • Software maintenance, upgrades and ancillary programs
  • Consulting work for data access or custom analysis
  • Help Desk Support & training opportunities

3. Work With Providers

An organization is not only buying a product, but also a product integrator.



  • Industry Knowledge
  • Years in Business
  • Customer Referrals
  • Global Presence
  • Client Specialists

4. Technical Feasibility

A solution that works well in one organization is not guaranteed to work well in other organizations.

Narrow the field based on the needs analysis for your audit department.

At the end of this step, you should have a clear preference for a product and have data to support your reasons.



  • Your Implementation Strategy
  • Readiness of your auditors to switch to the new system
  • Install and work with evaluation versions of the top software selections
  • Determine the functions you need
    (now and in the future)
  • Results of the Software Selection Matrix

5. Selection & Purchase

If you have followed these steps and used the Software Selction Matrix, this is the easiest part.



  • Determine the initial deployment level
  • Conduct a meeting with the audit staff to explain the change, demonstrate the value in the new software and explain roll out and training procedures and

6. Implementation

Get started with your new solution!



  • Maintain technical proficiency
  • Stay in contact with the client specialist
  • Use the help desk support
  • Keep software licenses up to date
  • Look for new opportunities to expand usage

7. Monitor & Improve

Reach for the next level.
Strive for 100% deployment. Data analysis is a core internal auditing competency. Avoid the temptation to “silo” the data analysis routines with one individual.

Providing a proper platform and environment can keep auditors on the right path to moving forward. Following a systematic process and doing the evaluation and selection in-house is the best way to ensure the selection is done properly.



  • Maintain technical proficiency
  • Stay in contact with the client specialist
  • Use the help desk support
  • Keep software licenses up to date
  • Look for new opportunities to expand usage


Software Selection Matrix


  1. Use your needs analysis to rank the different features available in most professional data analysis software. Need:
    • 0 = Needless
    • 1 = Nice to Have
    • 2 = Desireable
    • 4 = Mandatory
  2. Rank your top 3 software selections based on the features available. Rank:
    • 0 = Doesn’t satisfy requirements
    • 2 = Satisfies
    • 4 = Surpasses
  3. Multiply the Need times the Rank to determine the Score of the software in each category.
    • (Need x Rank = Score)
  4. Total the scores in each category to get a weighted score.
  5. Total the final scores for each category. The software with the highest total is the best fit for your company.

CaseWare IDEA , Tech Tip

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By Audimation Team

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