Diana Hamono, Executive Director
Knowledge management is concerned with using to best advantage the knowledge and experiences that have been gained across an organisation.
Three elements appear in a wealth of literature – data, information and knowledge – and a good understanding of these is the key to grasping the issues faced by many internal auditing organisations.
Data is a series of discrete events, observations, measurements, or facts in the form of numbers, words, sounds, and/or images.
In the internal audit arena, data can take many forms and can be unstructured or structured. An example of data used in internal auditing is a spreadsheet that contains accounts payable amounts, dates and vendors, purchase order numbers and so on.
Information is the organised data that has been arranged for better comprehension or understanding – it has been endowed with relevance and purpose.
An example of information used for an internal audit is a transcription of interview notes taken by an auditor after interviewing an auditee to extract pertinent information.
One person’s information can become another person’s data.
The knowledge that is used and generated by internal auditors can be thought of as a collection of specific data, specific and broad information sets, the skills attained, and experience in similar audit situations.
Being able to effectively manage not only the knowledge of individuals, but also the collective knowledge in the organisation, is crucial to the efficient and effective delivery of outcomes.
It should be noted though, that internal auditing is not a one person job.
Internal auditing requires collaboration and the integration of information and knowledge both from within the auditing organisation and from the auditee’s sources to enable a valuable outcome for all involved.
Want to learn about knowledge audits? Stay tuned for next Monday’s blog post.