They Said It: Analysing IIA President’s Thoughts

In what has been one of the more extraordinary American presidential campaigns we saw recently an interesting analysis of the words beings spoken by the candidates used data from 15 main presidential debates, which took place between August 6, 2015 and February 13, 2016, and analyzed the language used by each candidate to “identify the 20 words that were most statistically significant in each contender’s speech.”

The results found that the most frequently used words from each candidate are: systemic (Hillary Clinton), utterly (Ted Cruz), blue-collar (John Kasich), apocalyptic (Marco Rubio), handful (Bernie Sanders), and eminent (Donald Trump).


As we read this we thought it would be an interesting exercise to analyse what it is (and is not) that the Institute of Internal Auditors are talking about.

With regards to our word source we have decided to use the always interesting, informative and entertaining blog posts of the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Institute of Internal Auditors, Richard Chambers for the last year finishing on March 14, 2016.

It should be noted that these blog posts are clearly stated as Chambers’ personal reflections and so may not represent the official view points of the Institute of Internal Auditors.  Having said that – the blog does appear on an Institute of Internal Auditors webpage.

So lets go – Chambers wrote just on 41,500 words in the last year.

An interesting first split – the primary keywords (no common words) / common words count was: primary – 23,084 words (55.62%) / common – 18,416 words (44.38%).

Of course of more interest is the content of the words and here are the top primary keywords

Primary KeywordsFrequency

On first glance nothing surprises here – they are the time tested themes of internal audit.

Firstly what is internal audit; what is it relationship with key risks; what is the relationship between management and internal audit; what is the role of the profession?

If one only focuses on these themes in the proper execution of their work they are likely to have a sound audit function.

Having collated the information in this way there is also a sense of sadness to see that the top words are just that – the time tested themes of internal audit.

If one of our most experienced and knowledgeable practitioners sees these as the issues to speak from their soapbox what does that say about the state of internal audit?

In our next Honestly Lay Bare we are going to look at what was missing or relegated too low for our liking.

As a final point – and we have no idea of the context – the last word in terms of frequency comes out as … pretty! 🙂

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