What makes a successful Common Data Model?

It’s estimated that between thirty to forty percent of an auditor’s time is spent interrogating, extracting and analysing data. Bringing together data from multiple systems and applications is an expensive and time-consuming task and without being able to share and understand the same data easily, each application or data integration project requires a custom implementation. These are just some of the reasons why Engine B has created an Audit Common Data Model (CDM) – to simplify this process by providing a shared data language for business and analytical applications to use. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the many benefits of an Audit Common Data Model for the sector. But what makes a Common Data Model truly successful? And how is Engine B’s Common Data Model driving the professional services industry forward? Let’s find out. 

There have been attempts made by organisations in the past to create an Audit Common Data Model, however, these attempts have failed. Previous efforts have not been successful because they focused solely on technology. To create a Common Data Model that really transforms professional services practices requires the following components: 

1. Unique Collaboration 

The creation of our CDM has been, and continues to be, a hugely collaborative effortOur collaboration with Microsoft, thirteen audit firms, end clients, regulators and investors mean we work openly. Clients feel safe that they experience marketleading innovation and the highest level of service, with significantly reduced risks.  

2. Microsoft plug and play capability  

Microsoft is working on an Open Data Model Initiative to create open-source CDMs in different industries, such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare and professional services. Microsoft’s vision is to open up these industries so complex systems can exchange data. Engine B is the only organisation contributing to Microsoft’s data project for audit, making us an integral component to Microsoft’s Open Data Model Initiative for professional services. 

Our Audit CDM is also Microsoft plug and play friendly and easily integrates with other Microsoft solutions such as Power BI and Power Apps. 

 3. Non-competitive offering  

Having one revenue model that does not compete with professional services players allows our diverse group of players to work together. Engine B’s Audit CDM act as an enabler for professional services firms, allowing clients to transform and drive their digital growth.  

 4. Data mapping and Knowledge Graphs 

Successful data mapping bridges the gap between two systems or data models, so that when data is moved from a source, it is accurate and usable at the destination. This is key in getting the most out of your data in data migrations, integrations, transformations, and in populating a data warehouse. 

The development of our unique Knowledge Graphs means that the Audit CDM data can be served up to enable in-depth, contextual, visual data analysis. Our Knowledge Graphs for audit are helping to increase the capacity of challenger firms who cannot afford large internal data teams, enabling fuller competition in the audit market. 

 5. Standardisation of schemas  

Lastly, we believe a successful CDM needs a standard and extensible collection of schemas such as entities, attributes, and relationships that represent business concepts and activities, as well as well-defined semantics, to facilitate data interoperability. 

So, there you have our definition of a successful Common Data Model. However, we’ve only been able to achieve this by working together with our industry partners and keeping our company principles at the core of the project. We believe our Audit CDM is extremely unique, not only because it provides a common data access platform, but it also enables the analysis of both structured and unstructured data. As audit firms roll out our Audit CDM, competing firms and even non-audit services organisations can leverage the Audit CDM in the same client site. The value will be far-reaching and we look forward to working with more and more firms in helping them to unlock the true potential of their data in 2021.  

 Find out more about Engine B’s Audit CDM and Knowledge Graphs by downloading one of our guides.