GRC Reports and Dashboard Best Practices

Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa

Mar 05, 2024

The business community has taken large strides with regard to the Governance, Risk, and Compliance space. A recent study anticipates a 50% increase in spending on GRC tools by 2026. While enterprises acknowledge the strategic imperative of having a GRC program, the interconnectedness of digital architecture and landscape has increased dramatically. And this poses a particularly challenging problem to solve—making the right strategic decisions while proactively making improvements for long-term sustainability. 

This is where GRC reports come in. They provide clear and comprehensive insights that enable security teams and leadership to identify weaknesses and opportunities in their systems. 

In this blog, we discuss GRC reports, their importance, and tips to help you streamline your GRC program.

What is GRC reporting?

GRC reporting is the process of presenting performance metrics in a structured way for an organization’s governance activities, risk management practices, and compliance tasks. It helps key stakeholders understand their GRC efforts’ impact and make improvements accordingly.

Importance of GRC reporting

GRC reporting acts as a strategic compass for key business decisions by offering much-needed visibility into the successes and shortcomings of its GRC program. It lays the foundation for process enhancement, resource optimization, and contract management.

Here are 4 benefits of GRC reporting:

Ensures transparency

Having a GRC reporting dashboard enables management to gain a quick snapshot of the results derived from GRC activities. It promotes transparency, enhances stakeholder confidence, and demonstrates a commitment towards better leadership and GRC risk management while minimizing non-compliance ramifications.

Strategic decision making

GRC activities impact your market reputation by strengthening your GRC framework. The performance metrics on the GRC reporting dashboard help senior management make key decisions that align with strategic objectives and make necessary adjustments.

Process optimization

GRC reporting helps identify any inefficiencies in processes or any kind of compliance deviations. The data-driven insights help initiate process optimization and other changes and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Better risk management

Risk is the central component of GRC reporting. It highlights potential risks that can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of crucial data assets. The meaningful insights from scoring, severity, and likelihood data from risk matrices etc. help risk professionals understand the risk exposure and prioritize mitigation measures.

Power your GRC program with Sprinto

Best practices for GRC reporting

Following GRC best practices allows organizations to minimize risks due to deviations and reap the benefits of improved performance. This in turn increases stakeholder and client confidence.

Let’s look at some of the best practices for GRC reporting:

Alignment with objectives

Ensure GRC reports focus on key objectives and risks that significantly impact your business operations. Avoid any unnecessary details and ensure that insights and action items are easy to grasp, particularly for crucial areas such as compliance status or governance practices.

Involving the right stakeholders

Involving key stakeholders and leveraging their expertise in the reporting process is crucial. It ensures informed decisions and promises stakeholder buy-in while promoting greater transparency and accountability.

Use of appropriate technology

Use appropriate technology and tools that automatically collect data at a granular level and simplify the analysis. It saves you time and resources and ensures greater accuracy. Moreover, the dashboards are scalable options to accommodate your expanding business needs.

Clear and standardized reports

The reports must have summaries that minimize the use of technical jargon to enable non-production staff to understand the context. The key metrics must be well-defined, and a consistent reporting style must be followed to avoid any unambiguity.

Visual representations

Use appropriate visuals to give stakeholders a quick snapshot of relevant information. Visualization like risk heatmaps can enhance the quality and clarity of GRC reporting and make the data more digestible.

Feedback and iteration

Keep soliciting feedback from senior management and other stakeholders to improve the reporting process. Ensure that the detailed reports adapt to major business process changes and any evolving threat environments to keep the organization agile and responsive.

Steps to create GRC dashboard for reporting

A GRC dashboard gives you a real-time view of GRC metrics that you set up based on business objectives. Here are 5 steps to create a GRC dashboard for reporting:

Step 1: Define goals

Establish GRC reporting objectives and clearly define the scope of activities to be covered. It is crucial to have clarity on the types of risks, compliance tasks, senior management review, and other crucial details.

Step 2: Identify key metrics

Identify the key performance indicators that you’d like to track and that are closely aligned with the overall objectives. These could include compliance health, risk metrics, policy violations, training completion rates etc.

Step 3: Gather relevant data

Based on the identified objectives and metrics, gather data from relevant sources such as internal audit findings, risk assessment reports, vulnerability scans, and more. Centralize the data for clarity, meaning, and quick action.

Step 4: Implement and deploy

The next step is to implement and deploy the dashboard. You can customize it as per organizational needs and configure it to display real-time updates. It must additionally be tested for user-friendliness and tp ensure that it displays the desired results. Once finalized, arrange for workforce training to ensure proper functioning.

Step 5: Monitor and maintain

Lastly, monitor the dashboard frequently and make changes based on what your business needs. It is good to have it updated regularly to align with more data sources, regulatory changes, and roles to gradually improve GRC posture.

How to use Sprinto for GRC reporting?

Sprinto is a next-gen GRC platform for cloud-first companies that helps you manage all aspects of GRC reporting with more agility than legacy platforms. It is integration-powered and automation-enabled to make it one of the most responsive GRC platforms out there.

Sprinto helps you win at GRC reporting with automation:

  • 200+ native integrations and responsive APIs help build a connected view of risks and internal controls
  • API-based evidence capture automate control checks and evidence collection
  • Centralized compliance dashboard helps you track real-time status of compliance health
  • View policies, senior management reviews, critical system access, vendor risk assessments etc to ensure better governance practices

To get started with Sprinto:

  • Book a demo with a compliance expert to configure Sprinto in a workshop style session.
  • Integrate key entities and assign roles activate checks and launch activities such as security training
  • Operate controls and monitor checks with Sprinto’s dashboard.

Here are Sprinto’s dashboard capabilities for GRC reporting:

  1. The main dashboard provides a quick snapshot of the compliance health. It comprises a control summary, passing and failing checks and pending audits. Additionally, you can view pending work for regulatory requirements and assignees to establish accountability and initiate quick action.
  1. The risk dashboard visually represents the inherent and residual risks with heat maps. It includes a risk register with various risk scenarios applicable to most companies. You can view risk profiles for various GRC compliance areas along with the risk owners. Next, it provides a summary of risk assessments that have been initiated.
  1. The policy dashboard features a centralized document hub and allows you to quickly review the pending policy approvals as well as active documents. You can also monitor acknowledgment requests and status and set up automated reminders for concerned stakeholders.
  1. The reviews dashboard enables senior management to keep track of pending policy reviews, risk assessments, internal audits etc. Automated workflows can be enabled for these periodic reviews to ensure complete visibility and facilitate quick strategic decisions.
  1. The vendor dashboard provides a brief overview of the third-party risks, the due diligence status, the assessments undertaken, breach monitoring reports and more. It helps leadership with contract negotiation and ongoing vendor management.
  1. Lastly, Sprinto features other dashboards that help you expand the scope of GRC program such as vulnerability management, incident reporting, change management, staff devices, training and more. 

Kickstart your GRC journey with Sprinto

Challenges in GRC reporting

GRC reporting can be challenging because of the lack of a shared vision, disconnected workflows, too much dependency on manual methods, and other complex situations. Addressing these challenges requires cohesive strategy, choosing the right tools and fostering a GRC culture.

Have a look at these top 5 challenges of GRC reporting:

Data complexity

GRC reporting requires data collection from varied systems, sources, and functions. The data can be in different formats, and some of it can be hard to quantify. Additionally, organizations might be subject to multiple GRC frameworks, making it challenging to present data.

How to solve it?

  • Use data standardization for consistent practices
  • Integrate data from varied sources for centralized reporting
  • Use automation tools like Sprinto to collect data at a granular level

Siloed processes

In large enterprises, siloed processes can limit visibility across departments. Reporting with a unified approach becomes difficult in such cases due to limited collaboration and fragmented data. The inconsistencies can also impact data accuracy and reliability.

How to solve it?

  • Implement an integrated GRC framework
  • Arrange for cross-functional training to promote collaboration
  • Ensure leadership support to encourage the importance of breaking down silos

Resource constraint

Resource constraints regarding budget, lack of skilled personnel or inadequate technology can hinder an organization’s capability to collect comprehensive insights through GRC reporting. It can in fact further expose the organization to cyber risks and compliance risks due to lack of streamlined processes.

How to solve it?

  • Review resource allocation to prioritize core activities
  • Adopt a risk-based approach to focus on the right areas for GRC
  • Automate any repetitive tasks and minimize burden on manual resources

Manual methods

Organizations with persisting manual methods face issues such as time constraints, human error and inaccuracy. Moreover, manual methods are not scalable and pose a challenge when the organization’s data volume expands. It strains an organization’s ability to focus on business-critical functions.

How to solve it?

  • Switch to automated GRC tools for better management and reporting
  • Arrange for workforce training on the usage of automated tools
  • Implement continuous monitoring mechanisms

Culture disparity

GRC reporting adoption requires a unified and cohesive strategy, and that requires a cultural shift in the organization. More often than not, employees are not ready for this change and resist it because of the disparities.

How to solve it?

  • Ensure a top-down approach for stakeholder buy-in
  • Communicate expectations and responsibilities to ensure accountability
  • Establish a feedback mechanism to ensure participation

Gain valuable insights into GRC activities

GRC reporting enables an organization to achieve greater transparency, accountability and control over GRC activities. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the program in place and the commitment of the organization to enhance its GRC processes. Automation can help you enhance the efficiency of reporting and adapt to changing government regulations or business needs.

Tools like Sprinto have all the essential pillars of the GRC program for agile and responsive reporting without a lengthy learning curve. The platform seamlessly aligns with your business’ GRC requirements with minimal manual effort and maximum output. Talk to our compliance experts.

FAQs

Who is responsible for GRC reporting?

The board of directors is accountable for overseeing GRC strategy while CROs (Chief Risk Officers) and CCOs (Chief Compliance Officers) report on risk and compliance-related activities. Other reporting tasks are distributed among various business function leaders such as those in finance, legal, IT etc.

What are GRC metrics?

GRC metrics are quantifiable indicators that help an organization track progress related to GRC activities and make informed decisions. The metrics can include the number of security risks reported, percentage of GRC audits passed, average time to detect security incidents, training completion rates etc.

How should organizations ensure the integrity of GRC reporting?

Organizations can ensure the integrity of GRC reporting by establishing clear policies, arranging for training and awareness programs, monitoring GRC implementation, taking data-driven decisions and including recommendations for improvements.

Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa

Payal is your friendly neighborhood compliance whiz! She turns perplexing compliance lingo into actionable advice about keeping your digital business safe and savvy. When she isn’t saving virtual worlds, she’s penning down poetic musings or lighting up local open mics. Cyber savvy by day, poet by night!

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