A risk assessment identifies threats and determines the potential impact they may have on people, property, and operations. It is the bedrock of any effective enterprise risk management program. Yet without automated risk assessment tools, conducting your assessment can be extremely time-consuming and error prone.

Traditional risk assessment methods rely on an endless web of emails to request, collect, and verify information from risk owners and other stakeholders. Any inconsistencies in data, formatting, and nomenclature must be explored and corrected, which require still more emails. By the time you have everything you need, you might be ready to start the whole cycle over.

For risk assessments to be effective, they require regular review and updates. Automating the process can make that job less painful and more productive, so you can focus on more strategic tasks.

Faster Risk Assessments with Less Work

Automation streamlines the risk assessment process and eliminates redundant tasks, which drastically reduces the timeline as well as the potential for inconsistencies and errors. Here are four automated risk assessment tools that will boost efficiency, accuracy, and visibility:

1. Dashboards. Dashboards offer a visual representation of the data most important to you. You can customize your view to track responses, outstanding items, and overall progress. You can also layer in KRIs, KPIs, and other important indicators for added insight. With a quick glance, you’ll know what demands your attention, what’s progressing well, and where potential issues lie to inform your decisions.

2. Relationship diagrams. Relationship diagrams map out how risks interconnect. They show how a single risk can trigger a cascade of related risks that reverberate throughout the organization. For instance, a health and safety risk — like a pandemic — can lead to IT, security, compliance, talent shortage, and ethics challenges. Understanding these hidden dependencies helps you understand the full magnitude of a risk so you can prioritize resources and actions.

For example, if employees must transition to remote work because of a risk event, the increased pressure on digital infrastructure and remote access systems may make the organization more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. Hackers may capitalize on these vulnerabilities to get into your systems and cause damage. A relationship diagram will help you instantly visualize these connections to help you gauge the full impact of each risk.

4. Heat maps. Heat maps are color-coded grids that illustrate the severity and probability of risks to help you identify high-priority risks at a glance. High severity/high probability risks typically appear in the upper right quadrant. These are the risks that could cause the greatest damage, which helps you prioritize your resources and actions accordingly. You can also filter data to show heat maps of risks by category, department, location, or functions to further refine your strategy.

5. AI Integrations. Integrating AI within your risk assessments can accelerate the process, which is especially helpful if you are assessing new risks. With the appropriate prompts, AI can populate your risk assessments and ratings. Note, however, that any AI-generated content should not be taken at face value. You must review the response and refine it with the substance, tone, and voice of your organization.

Risk assessments are only as good as they are accurate. Automated risk assessment tools can deliver better results in significantly less time – while removing the most frustrating parts of the process. The data is also standardized in format and nomenclature, which makes it easy roll up to an enterprise level. With automated risk assessment tools, leaders will finally have timely, reliable information to accurately gauge risks and make informed decisions.

For more on the risk assessment process, download our ebook, Charting a Course for Enterprise Risk Management, and check out Riskonnect’s ERM software.