How to use the Emerging Issues Analysis

This article provides information on how to access and use the Emerging Issues Analysis to complement a Materiality Analysis and support an on-going issues management process.

The Emerging Issues Analysis is a downloadable Excel file that presents information on emerging issues and leading societal signals based on a Materiality Analysis. This analysis can only be run once at least a draft materiality analysis is created. The issues analyzed are based on the Topic Mapping used in the materiality analysis; as such, the Emerging Issues Analysis cannot provide signals for topics or issues not included in the Topic Mapping. Ensuring a comprehensive Topic Mapping is therefore a vital first step and can be complemented with a review of the Shared Topics library under Community Topics – a repository of Datamaran user-built emerging and industry-specific topics.

To access the Emerging Issues Analysis, navigate to the Materiality module and open an analysis to the Matrix View. In the header of the Matrix Table is a button ‘Download Emerging Issues Analysis’, which will initiate the file download.

The Emerging Issues Analysis contains two tables that should be considered when completing a Materiality Analysis, and if applicable 6 months after completion (read more about the annual process for proactively anticipating and managing emerging issues here). The first table is ‘Societal signals to consider’, which is based on the most recent month’s data applied to the Materiality Analysis. It compares the issue scores from leading sources – NewsFlow, Voluntary regulations and Social – with lagging sources – Benchmark(s) and Mandatory regulations – to provide an indication of issue emergence. A sum total across these indicators provides an issue-level signal to consider when assessing importance and issue management.

The second table ‘Increase in societal sources (6 months)’ provides an overview of which issues have been increasing in importance across the aforementioned leading sources over the past 6 months (from the point of download). As such, this analysis is completely agnostic to the source weights that were applied in the Materiality Analysis and can also support in the iterative process of fine-tuning those weights. There is also a sum total in this table, the results of which provide indication of the issues that have been gaining in importance to society generally.

These two tables together provide complementary analyses to support in prioritizing which issues to manage. On a regular basis, at least biannually, assess how the issues have been evolving through Monitoring.