TSB Bank

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TSB Bank is a retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom. The bank has recently undergone a massive transformation to online banking and services. Ian Kirton, Senior Audit Manager, Internal Audit, was tasked with building an audit department and data analytics strategy to support the cloud-based enterprise.


Q: Why did your organization start using data analytics software?

A: It started with a desire to maximize assurance we provided to our customers. We introduced data analytic tools about 10 years ago, and have made a natural progression as our corporate goals increased our use of technology. Now, not only are analytics used in the audit but also it’s used to help with audit planning and continuous monitoring to help us keep an eye on key controls.


Q: How did you learn to apply data analytics in your day-to-day process?

A: It began with building a team armed with the analytic skills we needed. First, we sent our employees to seminars and conferences to train up their skills. Then, we recruited people with the skills we did not have. From this starting point, we could bench mark ourselves to understand our use of analytics and develop a strategy to increase our usage and identify what was needed to get to that next level. To truly embed the use of data analytics, you cannot look at analytics as an add on. Instead treat it as part of every audit and reasons to use analytics. We’ve developed a planning document that helps the team think about where [in the audit process] they can use it. You really need to [make an effort to incorporate] it into every step of the process.


Q: How has using IDEA impacted you, your team or department?

A: Lots of different ways, and more so as time goes on. At the moment, we are looking to add a specialist analytics role to the team. IDEA is impacting the structure of the team, the skills we value and what we might recruit in the future.


In terms of the value we bring to the business, we’ve had a number of successes providing insights that would not have been possible without analytics. [Particularly when we] combine large sets of data to look for interesting patterns that we would not otherwise see.


The Visualization tool has helped when it comesto presenting findings to executive managers.When there data behind it, the facts are hard to argue. And being able to test whole populations of data, we could assess the global impact – for example the number of customers impacted, number of products or the costs involved, etc. That makes it much easier, as an auditor, to deliver your findings in a way that’s more impactful. So IDEA has had a lot of impact on me as a manager, the team and on the businesses we support through the insights we deliver in our audit.