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The Flexibility of Big Data

Big Data gives people a competitive edge to work faster, and stay agile.

The concept of big data is around for decades now. But now many organizations have thought and some are thinking that if they capture all the data that brooks into their business, they can get significant value from it if utilized in a beneficial way.

The newly developed benefits that big data analytics if brought into picture can increase the speed and efficiency. If we look back few years ago, the people use to gather information, run analytics and start digging for information which can be used for future decision. But now people can identify the insights and take the decisions immediately instead of relying on the unearthing.

It would be inappropriate to say who are using Big data, instead it should be who are not! Because you name any industry, and they are using big data to harness there data and using it to identify new business opportunities.

Here are different organizations who are and might use this technology:

Banking:

The data in Banks is skyrocketing every fraction of second. Financial organizations gathers and harness their analytical insights from large volumes of data in order to make proper financial solutions and decisions. Big data gives an ease to allow them to access the information they need when they need it.

It can also help detect any or all illegal activities that are carried out, like:

 Money Laundering

 Risk mitigation

 Misuse of Debit or Credit cards

 Venture Credit Hazard Treatment

Educational Purpose:

Educational industry is flourishing with huge data related to students, faculty, exams, forms, courses, results and what not. Eventually people have realized that proper analysis and study of the data can be used to improve the efficiency and operational effectiveness of the educational institutes.

Some of the fields which have been transformed because of Big data are –

 Customized learning programs –

By creating customized learnings from each student’s learning history.

 The Grade System –

With proper analysis of student data, new advancements in grading system have been introduced without error.

 The Future Prediction –

With appropriate analysis of every student’s record, one can predict student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests from which even his career prediction can be done,

Healthcare Industry:

It is one of an industry which is again bound to generate a huge amount of data. Here are some ways how Big Data contributes in healthcare –

 Treatment Cost Reduction –

Big Data gives you a chance to perform unnecessary diagnosis which eventually reduces the cost of treatment.

 Predicting Outbreaks –

Helps in outbreaks prediction of epidemics and also to take preventive measures to minimize the effects.

 Preventing Diseases –

Due to Big Data, it becomes easy to detect diseases in early stages.

Best examples of Big Dada in healthcare are – Apple’s Health-kit.

Government Sector:

Let that be anything say - Electricity, Agriculture, Insurance, Health Welfare, Tax Evaders, Unemployment, Political decisions, Related to construction and etc. Let that be anything related to government and people welfare needs a big data that too on a daily basis.

Government even have to keep track of various records and databases regarding their Geographical surveys, citizens, growth and etc. one of the best example –

 Cyber Security –

To track down the Tax evaders

Deceit Recognition

The world of Entertainment –

Every person has a smartphone these day with also some add on gadgets! Which is one of the main cause of increase in use of Big Data in media and entertainment industry.

Media and entertainment industry are on the top list to extract benefits from Big data like-

 Identifying interest of audience

 Proper prediction of “Whom to show what”

 Insights from Customer Reviews

Big Data is like a clay, which you mold anyhow but the result will turn out to be beautiful for sure!

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In a report known as “Brydon Report”, a former London Stock Exchange chair Sir Donald Brydon has suggested that the audit profession has lost its way. This was the third report commissioned by the former Prime Minister Theresa May to provide an Independent Review into the Quality and Effectiveness of Audit. After a series of high profile corporate failures such as the construction company Carillion, the retailer BHS, and the travel company Thomas Cook has shaken up the Financial Reporting Council and the British lawmakers. It has also raised questions on the effectiveness and reliability of the audit.

“Audit is not broken but it has lost its way and all the actors in the audit process bear some measure of responsibility”- Sir Donald Brydon

In a 135 pages report, Brydon has highlighted the shortcomings of the current external audit practices, especially the BIG FOUR FIRMS- PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY. These firms conduct the audit of FTSE-100 companies and therefore, there is almost no competition which is part of the problem. The report whilst highlighting the problems also gave various recommendation to improve the quality and effectiveness of the audit.

Key Identifications

The report suggests that there should be a change in the definition of the audit and it should be “written in plain English.” Brydon also believes “audit lacks a clearly understood and fully encompassing purpose.” The current definition fails to clearly describe the purpose of the audit and how and why it should be conducted. The change in the definition will help the auditors to make use the unique opportunity they have to verify, confirm and inform the stakeholders with everything that’s going on in the company and not just the financial statements.

"There has been a slow evolution, since the 1970s, in the role of audit from being just a periodic external check on the accuracy of financial reporting towards a value-adding function, but this has further to go."

Along with the shift in definition, auditors should be given proper training to make use of modern technology. Auditors also fail to make their reports more informative and useful.

“The purpose of an audit is to help establish and maintain deserved confidence in a company, in its directors and in the information for which they have a responsibility to report, including the financial statements, and the balance sheet

The auditors should look beyond the accuracy of financial statements and communicate better with the shareholders and other stakeholders. In current audit practices, even if auditors found a point of concern, they don’t inform it to the shareholders instead just discuss in the closed rooms with the directors, CEO and CFO. Thereby, they fail to grasp the opportunity to expand the scope of the audit and communicate better.

"In hiding behind the need only to confirm and verify, many auditors have failed to grasp the opportunity to make their reports more informative. Many do take this opportunity in private, communicating well beyond the narrow confines of auditing standards when reporting to audit committees, but not to shareholders or other stakeholders."

Recommendations

Following are the key recommendations made by Sir Donald Bryden.

•A redefinition of audit and its purpose;

•The creation of a corporate auditing profession governed by principles;

•The introduction of suspicion into the qualities of auditing; the extension of the concept of auditing to areas beyond financial statements;

•Mechanisms to encourage greater engagement of shareholders with audit and auditors;

•A change to the language of the opinion given by auditors;

•The introduction of a corporate Audit and Assurance Policy, a Resilience Statement and a Public Interest Statement;

•Suggestions to inform the work of BEIS on internal controls and improve clarity on capital maintenance;

•Greater clarity around the role of the audit committee;

•A package of measures around fraud detection and prevention;

•Improved auditor communication and transparency;

•Obligations to acknowledge external signals of concern;

•Extension of the audit to new areas including Alternative Performance Measures; and

•The increased use of technology.

Source: Brydon review final report

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