We are all becoming familiar with the truly mind-boggling statistics about the amount of data being created on a daily basis, and as our world becomes more connected it is only set to grow further. 90 percent of the data in the world didn’t exist two years ago, with roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes generated every day in 2017.

This torrent of data is now being harnessed by an increasing number of public sector organisations in order to help make decisions, drive business strategy and minimise risk. However, as the volumes of data increase exponentially, it can be hard for executives to comprehend what it all means for their organisation.

This is an area that has long fascinated Callida’s newest consultant, Kim Rooken-Smith, a data visualisation and analytics specialist in the field of internal audit. Kim has direct experience in helping public sector organisations understand and leverage their data for valuable insights, enabling them to get a much better idea of their operational performance and risk management processes.

The role of the internal audit function in public sector organisations has undergone a transformation in recent years. The changes introduced by The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act (PGPA Act) in 2013 have broadened its remit to include performance auditing responsibilities – requiring it to be much more dynamic and future focused. According to Kim, the use of leading edge data visualisation tools to merge previously isolated data sets will enable this to happen as the internal audit function moves away from its traditional compliance approach to a more value and strategic orientated part of the agency.

The power of data visualisation in the transmission of audit findings cannot be overstated. “Data visualisation is an effective and memorable way to capture key insights,” notes Kim. “As the work of the internal audit team reaches across all functions of an organisation, it is critical that the findings and insights are communicated effectively.” Kim has found that all layers of the organisation tend to understand the results of internal audit and risk analysis much better when shown in a compelling and concise visual.

The ability to work with multiple public-sector clients to build their data analytics capacity and help create new opportunities to innovate and improve the internal audit function, is one of the key reasons Kim chose to join Callida. With a growing assurance and risk team and profile, and a genuine dedication to agility, Kim quickly understood that Callida would provide an opportunity for her skills and approach to be maximised.

“Having worked at a range of data-focused agencies who understood and appreciated the power of effective analytics, I’ve developed considerable subject matter expertise and public-sector knowledge that I’m looking forward to leveraging further at Callida,” said Kim. “I believe that one of my core strengths is the ability to mesh forward thinking methodology to deliver pragmatic solutions to drive actionable insights and improved performance.” Kim has deep interest and expertise in using machine learning within the internal audit function to drive better risk outcomes and foster business agility.  One of her future objectives at Callida is to deploy machine learning so that suspicious transactions can be identified in real time. This will enable for risk responses to be measured and treated in a continuous control environment.

As well as adding depth in data analytics to our Assurance & Risk practice area, Kim also shares Callida’s passion for giving back to our community. She worked in poverty alleviation for a decade at the Australian Aid Agency where one of her key initiatives was the development of basic education programmes in the Southern Philippines, building schools for indigenous communities to prevent high drop-out rates of children. In addition, Kim was the skilled volunteering co-ordinator at her previous consultancy, matching organisational skills to not-for-profit organisations for pro / low-bono work.

Kim is also incredibly passionate about supporting adoption initiatives, working with adoptive parents to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by adoptees. Having been adopted from South Korea aged 18 months by Australian parents, Kim has contributed her life story to a book funded by the Department of Social Services to facilitate understanding on adoptive issues. She attends camps to provide advice and talk through her experiences, and acts as an informal role model for younger adoptees – an important area and one she intends to increasingly focus on in the future.

Callida Consulting is continuously on the lookout for experienced consultants to join our thriving team. If you like the sound of what we stand for and our working environment please contactinfo@callida.com.au

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