Let the Madness Begin

The NCAA college basketball tournament is under way, and the madness of March has begun. People across the country are filling out brackets, picking winners and likely reviewing a large amount of data in the process, e.g., RPI, SOS, conference performance, nonconference performance and others.

Once the madness subsides, we should keep the mentality of analyzing all available data to answer difficult questions—even more difficult than how many 13 seeds I should pick this year. Consider, for instance, the following question:  Are you in compliance with NCAA academic rules?

In the world of higher education, NCAA compliance is a hot topic, and it’s no secret data analytics also is a hot topic right now. But I believe using data analytics to enhance NCAA compliance testing should be a topic that is beyond hot.

One often-overlooked set of data in higher education is academic records. This data set provides great information for assessing NCAA academic compliance. Check out my latest blog post on ACFE Insights for an example of applying data analytics in this area.

While this is a single example of using available data to answer a question, it illustrates a much broader theory we should be applying. Simply put, we should leverage all available data—not only to pick our brackets, but also to enhance our ability to answer difficult questions.


Jeremy specializes in providing fraud investigation and forensic data mining services. He assists with fraud investigations through a variety of tasks, including interviewing employees, obtaining evidence, examining documents, analyzing large data sets, estimating losses and presenting findings. Jeremy has experience in using both ACL and IDEA data analysis software for forensic data mining and continuous auditing.

Jeremy Clopton – who has written posts on BKD Forensics.

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