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Director - Data Analytics Operations

National Audit Office (NAO)
London or Newcastle
up to £130,000 + benefits
Closing date
20 Mar 2024

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Employer Sector
Government & Military, Public Sector
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
Data Analytics

Job Details

Job description

We are pleased to announce an opportunity for a Director – Data & Analytics Operations (Director, D&A Ops).

This is an exciting opportunity to lead our growing Data & Analytics Operations Team focussed on:

  • The use of Data Analytics to develop audit assurance and the supporting audit methodology development relating to the use of data analytics in our financial audit (FA) work
  • Engaging with senior stakeholders both internally and at the organisations we audit.
  • Being responsible for developing and implementing data and analytics (D&A) approaches in our FA work to enhance quality and efficiency drawing, where appropriate, on the wider work of the NAO to add value and make a difference.
  • Internally, the Director – Data & Analytics Operations will lead our teams and people, collaborate and act as a role model for the behaviours and ways of working needed to support us becoming an exemplar organisation.

The Data & Analytics Operations (D&A Ops) team supports financial auditors with their use of Data & Analytics in their Financial audits. The D&A Ops team works closely with the following Digital Financial Audit teams:

  • Audit Technology Services (ATS) – This team provides support to the users of the FA Service Lines range of technology tools (e.g., Audit Management Systems; Data sharing tools; Data & Analytics (D&A) tools; audit automation tools); and
  • IT Audit – This team delivers IT Audit work and supports financial audit team in their testing of automated controls.
  • Our analytics application developers in the NAO’s Analysis Hub

IT audit is a growing area of our work. In relation to the IT Audit aspects of the digital audit portfolio, the increased use of IT Audit and controls testing, within the NAO’s Financial Audit (FA) work, is a key workstream in the Audit Transformation Programme (ATP) as we seek to embed controls and IT Audit into a greater proportion of our audits.

As well as delivering the IT Audit and Controls aspects of the ATP the Director – Data Analytics Operations will be expected to assist with the development of our wider digital financial audit work by working closely with the Director – IT Audit. The Director – Data Analytics Operations will also work closely with our Audit Transformation Programme team who are lead our financial audit change programmes including the adoption of new technologies.


Typical responsibilities for our Director - Data & Analytics Operations include:

  • Development of our approach to, and delivery methods for, our use of D&A in our financial audits
  • Work with our Analysis Hub to commission appropriate data analytics apps and tools
  • Development of appropriate training courses to support our approach, and methodology as it relates to D&A work to ensure the quality and efficiency of this work as we expand the use of D&A in our FA work
  • Leading the development of the D&A financial focussed audit capability within the NAO.
  • Develop our strategy for greater use of D&A techniques and approaches in our financial audit work;

The successful candidate will:

  • Build the skills and capabilities of the D&A Ops team and grow the team in line with the growth in demand for the services the team provide
  • Develop the D&A awareness amongst FA colleagues
  • Work with FA Director colleagues to support them with the delivery of their financial audits, encouraging the greater use of data and analytics approaches where this adds to the quality, efficiency and insight of these financial audits.
  • Take the lead in ensuring the quality of the data and analytics work delivered. This to include leading on engagement with the External Audit Regulator (the Audit Quality Review (AQR) team of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)) on D&A matters arising from their review.
  • Raise the NAO’s external profile in the area of use of D&A in the financial audit and so contribute to our authoritative voice on technology related audit matters.
  • Contribute to other NAO products such as value for money reviews, investigations and departmental overviews, where these could benefit from D&A techniques developed for the financial audit.
  • Lead horizon scanning, and market awareness initiatives, relating to the use of D&A in the delivery of financial audit, in line with the NAO’s ambition of being a fast follower of the large commercial audit firms in our evolution towards a more digitally enabled audit.
  • Be accountable to the Executive Director of Financial Audit (who is the NAO’s Head of Audit) . The Director will work closely and collaboratively with the Director in the Financial Audit Practice and Quality (FAPQ) Team who has responsibility for Financial Audit methodology and quality.
  • He/she will be expected to work collaboratively with colleagues at all levels of the organisation and with senior colleagues across government (including CIOs and Directors General, Finance).

Our values reflect who we are as the NAO, how we work together and with those outside the NAO, to achieve our purpose and priorities. We're looking for people who believe in and exemplify our values to help the NAO be a great place to work. We act with courage and integrity – we’re honest, open and challenging of ourselves and others to achieve better outcomes. We are inclusive and respectful, treating our people and stakeholders with courtesy and understanding. We are curious and seek to learn to help ourselves and government improve how they use public money. And we strive for excellence to achieve high quality work that makes a difference.

The person we are looking for:

The successful candidate will have significant experience of delivering data and analytics assurance as part of external audit work, and developing and enhancing methodology to incorporate the use of technology.

We are looking for candidates who can provide leadership and direction in the way we use D&A in our financial audit work and play a key leadership role in enhancing the quality and impact of our work across the NAO’s financial audit service line. The successful candidate will be able to credibly engage and build relationships with internal stakeholders (including the NAO’s Leadership Team and Directors, equivalent to engagement partners) and external stakeholders (including audited bodies, partner firms, audit technology providers and Parliament). The successful candidate will have the strategic vision to shape our D&A enabled audit approaches to respond to internal and external developments as part of our Audit Transformation Programme.

More generally, the successful candidate will play a key leadership role in achieving our strategic ambitions, including attracting and retaining high quality people; and holding ourselves to the high standards expected of public bodies when it comes to efficiency, value for money and long-term sustainability.

Skills required

Essential skills and experiences:

  • Senior level experience and deep expertise in delivering data and analytics work in support of delivery of financial audit work. Holding a relevant professional qualification (ACA, CISA, CIA) would be an advantage, but greater weight will be placed on experience delivering D&A related financial audit work than the holding of a professional qualification.
  • Capable of applying their experience and expertise to a variety of Public Sector organisations.
  • The current D&A Ops team use Caseware IDEA and Alteryx. We would expect the D&A Ops Director to have appropriate levels of experience of using these tools, or can be capable of achieving appropriate levels of competency in use of the tools, within the early months (say first 6 months) of their tenure. Other skills the team have are in SQL server; Data Bricks; and Microsoft Power BI and programming/scripting in SQL (key components for Data bricks development) and Python.
  • Informed on current and emerging technology related risk areas such as: technology related fraud, Cloud computing, Online self-service, Shared Service Centres, IT development methodologies and Artificial Intelligence,
  • Understanding of business process controls and Internal Control Frameworks (e.g., COSO)
  • Skilled in report writing, including the specific requirements of Audit Committee papers.
  • Possess well developed listening and questioning skills.
  • Be self-starters, demonstrating drive and initiative.
  • Has the technical knowledge, and commitment to understanding of the NAO’s financial audit methodology, to a sufficient level, to guide FA teams in the use of D&A techniques in their financial audits.
  • Experience in the development and delivery of training courses on D&A matters for both financial auditors.

The assessment and selection process:

If you wish to apply you should submit a brief covering note (no more than 1,000 words) and an up-to-date CV by midday on 20 March 2024.


The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament. Our public audit perspective helps Parliament hold government to account and improve public services.

We audit the financial statements of all central government departments, agencies and other public bodies, and report the results to Parliament. Our other work comprises value for money studies, local audit, investigations, support to Parliament and international activities.


Company info
United Kingdom

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