Why Every Big Data Team Should Have an Independent Auditor

June 9, 2016
200 Views

Data engineers, data scientists, solution architects and system administrators are the integral parts of any data science team, but do we really need an independent auditor for a Big Data project?

If the experts are to be believed, then an IT auditor can play an important role in the success of any Big Data project. If you are yet to utilize the services of an independent auditor for the quality assurance purpose, then it is likely that you are missing out on quality-specific insights that only an auditor can provide.

Data engineers, data scientists, solution architects and system administrators are the integral parts of any data science team, but do we really need an independent auditor for a Big Data project?

If the experts are to be believed, then an IT auditor can play an important role in the success of any Big Data project. If you are yet to utilize the services of an independent auditor for the quality assurance purpose, then it is likely that you are missing out on quality-specific insights that only an auditor can provide.

Let’s find out the key benefits of having an independent auditor in the governance of Big Data and Data Science teams.

1. Performs the Controlling Function

The main responsibility of the auditor is to perform the controlling function, which is a part of the overall project management function. It’s the auditor who makes sure that the policies and processes are being adhered to.

2. Ensures the Expected Quality Standard

It is the duty of the auditor to ensure that the quality standards are either met or exceeded. Besides determining the audit scope and objectives, the auditor is also entrusted with the responsibility to come up with quality guidelines and checklists. Having an independent auditor, who is not directly reporting to the project manager, ensures that periodic audits are being conducted to measure the effectiveness of predefined quality guidelines.

3. Resolves Conflict of Interest

Resolving any conflict of interest in the team can be another area where an auditor can step into. For example, when the project managers are under pressure to deliver results within strict deadlines, it’s a common practice to take shortcuts through the quality process. An IT auditor can keep the project manager honest in such a scenario.

4. Serves As a Bridge between Leadership and Project Team

The organization’s leadership can have certain expectations, while the project management team can have expectations of their own. Sometimes the differences get lost due to the lack of direct communications. Such expectation mismatches can have devastating affects, including but not limited to project failures. Having an independent auditor in the team, who would interact regularly with both the project team as well as the leadership, helps both the parties to align their thoughts according to the business requirements.

5. Helps in Decision Making Process

Well-crafted audit reports that include result-based insights and recommendations can immensely help in the organization’s decision-making process. That’s another strong reason why you should invest in hiring a qualified IT auditor for your Big Data team.

Final Thoughts:

To sum things up, modern-day enterprises handling Big Data initiatives should ideally have an independent audit team that functions seamlessly alongside the data team. The role that an auditor play in the governance of a data science project is unique and critical. It helps the team to maintain the desired level of output quality by strictly enforcing project governance – where all the parties, including the organizational leadership, team members and the project managers, are tied together by a single controlling thread in the form of an auditor.