January 26, 2017 - Comments Off on Data Analytics – Insight in Turbulent Times

Data Analytics – Insight in Turbulent Times

In these challenging times, businesses – small, medium and large – are looking for ways to improve their insight and decision-making to ensure their continued growth and success. Given the complexities of doing business in the twenty-first century, companies are relying on robust data analytics to support growth and intuition. The value of data analytics is best articulated on PwC’s website: “[Data Analytics] can add business value to every part of the value chain and every area of business decision-making”.

What are Data Analytics? That’s what I asked myself 12 months ago, when I was first asked to source candidates in the Swiss market. What I did know was it is a thriving market, one that has helped keep Milburn Lewis extremely busy over the past 18 months. We felt it appropriate to explore what we know about the complex, interesting and intriguing world of Data Analytics in this, our latest blog offering.

Over the past 5 years, Big 4 firms around the globe have focused heavily in building exceptional Data Analytics offerings. And this doesn’t appear to be slowing down. If anything, our clients appear to be speeding up recruitment in this area, but are being hindered by the age-old problem in recruitment – access to the best talent.

Deloitte defines data analytics as, “the practice of using data to drive business strategy and performance. It includes a range of approaches and solutions, from looking backward to evaluate what happened in the past to looking forward to do scenario planning and predictive modelling.”

To put it even more simply, I understand data analytics broadly as applying an algorithmic or mechanical process to derive insights. For example, running through several data sets to look for meaningful correlations between each other.

Elementary definitions aside, don’t be fooled, there are a myriad of ways to utilise this technology. And the Big 4 firms are across them all. It is this breadth and depth of data analytics that makes recruiting within the market such a monumental task, one that requires exceptional research, strong relationships and a commitment to engaging fully with industry leaders and practitioners.

The two incarnations of data analytics that our clients are most focused on are: Forensic Data Analytics and Risk Data Analytics. Across Europe – particularly in Central and East European countries – we are witnessing exponential growth in these two areas.

Forensic Data Analytics

As the complexities of business and government continues to grow, the desire for advanced forensic data analytics rises. It is more important than ever to protect business and assets from fraud and other threats. Forensic data analytics helps organisation that are – for example – challenged with a growing volume of electronic data; struggling with identifying, collecting, preserving and producing structured data in a timely and efficient manner; or worried about fraud risks, accounting issues and expense management.

Milburn Lewis’ Big 4 clients offers services within Forensic Data Analytics:

  • Proactive and reactive fraud analysis and fraud risk assessments using risk ranking methods.

  • Forensic in the Audit (FITA) engagements

  • Anti-money laundering (AML) investigations

  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations

  • Contract compliance testing

Risk Data Analytics

In today’s dynamic and challenging business environment, organisations are ever more reliant on the supply of accurate information. According to PwC UK, business leaders cannot simply afford to base important decisions on traditional static risk assessments. Instead they need continuous and insightful risk intelligence monitoring which creates an enormous opportunity to secure and potentially enhance their future.

Organisations are looking to increase ‘risk intelligence’ by clearly defining, understanding and managing their tolerance for and exposure to risk. Advanced analytics capabilities enable clearer visibility into the challenges associated with managing the many types of risk. This is important in key areas, such as operations, regulatory compliance, supply chain, finance, eCommerce, and credit. By using analytics to measure, quantify and predict risk, leaders can rely less on intuition and create a consistent methodology steeped in data-driven insights.

Utilising data analytics, the Big 4 may help you answer questions like:

  • How can we better understand various external and internal factors that have an impact on risk and investment?

  • How do we validate whether our risk models are effective?

  • How can we better manage pricing and cost fluctuation risks and their impact on our balance sheet?

  • How do we identify and manage the key risks in our supply chain?

  • How can we better understand potential risk by utilizing more holistic information about our business?

  • How can we use our data to better optimise risk management processes and technology?

The Future of Data Analytics and How We Can Help

Data analytics is here to stay. And we have found it to be a highly profitable market but we must approach it with some caution. Like eDiscovery and cybersecurity, data analytics is a highly complex market, one that requires more from recruiters than “business as usual”.

The market is too competitive and too complex for that kind of recruiting. Data analytics is the now and future, and we must equip ourselves to ensure that we have the know-how to meet the inevitable demand for candidates.

We as recruiters must honestly engage with the market, making a sincere and serious attempt to have a better understanding of the distinctions, challenges, and developments facing our clients and professionals. By achieving this we will be able to better identify the talent our clients desperately need.

If you are interested in exploring data analytics opportunities in Europe, or elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to reach us at info@milburnlewis.com.

Published by: Ian James in Blogs

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