Building bridges between risk data and informed decision-making

Building bridges between risk data and informed decision-making

Sword GRC Blog

Building bridges between risk data and informed decision-making

Most organizations appreciate the benefits of data-driven decision making – reaching solid decisions based on actual data rather than relying on observations, past experiences, or worse, trusting intuition or ‘gut feel’. It stands to reason that without reliable data, it is very difficult to make judgments when it comes to mitigating risk and considering the wider implications of risk management upon the business. Should risk information exist in silos, as is often the case, effective risk management leading to well-informed decision making becomes harder still. David Emanuel, VP, North America Operations at Sword GRC gives his view on the need for joined-up information as the foundation for more effective and strategic decision-making:

“It is not unusual to find that important risk information exists on ‘islands’ within an organization. If those pockets of risk information exist in silos, leadership simply cannot see the ‘wider picture’; a project or enterprise-wide view of risk that is critical to the decision-making process.

“Successfully applied, risk based-decision making can be powerful, enabling organizations to make the best of situations or balance risks v rewards. By building bridges between the silos and enabling cross-departmental or functional collaboration, you can mitigate risks, minimize the frustrations that come from data becoming available too ‘late in the day’ to play a part in decisions reached and avoid missing opportunities where outcomes could have been positive.

“It is essential that organizations striving to outperform within competitive economic landscapes have a means of bridging these data gaps. With easy, enterprise-wide access to reliable risk data, made available at the right time, teams are equipped to maximize opportunities and reduce threats that could be detrimental to project goals, business outcomes, customer satisfaction or wider stakeholder objectives.”


“Good Risk management software helps risk professionals understand the hurdles between them and their goals. Great Risk management software helps bridge the gap between data and decision, leveraging risks to drive business performance and growth, using the data and insights to influence commercial decisions and business strategy.

“Taking a technology-driven approach to risk management brings better business outcomes and can benefit the organization, its customers, stakeholders and staff.

“What’s more, through more collaborative working, teams are equipped to make the most of every scenario; bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives, bringing greater accountability to risk management. Problems arise when business units and departmental functions fail to combine their expertise and there is no transparency or clarity. It’s in addressing this issue that risk management software, such as Sword GRC’s award-winning platform Active Risk Manager comes into its own.”


Used by risk professionals globally, ARM provides a single view of risk allowing risk managers to easily identify, manage and control risks across the entire enterprise.

  • Centralized risk registers eliminate disparate spreadsheets and other silos of risk information
  • Offering real-time information – the ability to view data as it comes in, in live dashboards and reports – ARM enables informed decision-making through intelligent tools
  • Standard reports can be customized, making it easy to communicate risk across the organization as a basis for decision making
  • Advanced risk scoring displayed in heatmaps helps to prioritize risk mitigation and powerful risk impact analysis removes uncertainty from projects.

“With a clear, consolidated view of risk, conveyed in a language and format that is easily understood by all stakeholders, guesswork is eliminated and strategic decisions can be data driven and risk-informed,” Emanuel says. “There’s a clear connection between reliable and accurate risk data as a basis for robust decision-making. It’s an approach adopted throughout our diverse global customer base and across our core markets of infrastructure, energy, aerospace and defence, construction and government.”


The need to collate risk data from disparate sources across the organization to provide the visibility necessary for effective decision-making is often a key Sword GRC customer requirement.

“All Corporate risk intelligence is stored in ARM, so we have made everyone else exponentially smarter– whether you are a new project manager or a seasoned veteran, you have all that intelligence at your fingertips.” Capital and Risk Management, Ameren Transmission

Learn more about Active Risk Manager