Data Series Insight 3: Enterprise Change
The third instalment in our Data Series Insights focuses on the numerous benefits that can accrue for financial institutions that undertake enterprise-wide changes to better understand and handle their data. We have noticed a pattern of problems that afflict data at financial institutions, such as duplication of data, processes that are repeated and/or not streamlined, and processes that require specific applications to run and analyse their data. As a result, financial institutions face increased costs for storage, maintenance, and change. If just some of these areas were enhanced or streamlined, data could be leveraged from multiple sources, reducing costs, and making change and maintenance easier.
Business process modelling should be the starting point to getting your data back on track. Logically, this is how your business remains compliant; you must identify the data required to perform the processes, and identify and remove any duplications. In parallel, enterprise-wide architecture requires accurate listing. Many institutions will already have this in some form, but it’s unlikely that they have catalogued the data attributes available in each application. Having understood the basics, it’s time for data analysts to get their hands dirty – business and technology should be brought together through data modelling, with the objective of creating an enterprise-wide data dictionary. The dictionary identifies the golden copy of each attribute and plots the lineage of the data throughout the institution. This allows for data efficiencies to be detected, inbound data cost reductions, contentment from regulators, and provides a strong foundation from where you can begin to exceed your customers' expectations.
The fundamentals of enterprise change are:
--- Know your processes (from a data perspective)
--- Understand your technology (with data at its core)
--- Map, catalogue, and track your data
--- Eliminate duplication and streamline data processes
--- Introduce good governance (see Data Series Insight 2)
Obviously, we know that creating the building blocks for the future success of the world’s leading financial institutions will take more than a couple paragraphs – there needs to be a dose of reality. For many established financial institutions, this undertaking is akin to putting a man on the moon. Furthermore, the possibility that any return on investment might take 5+ years makes this an unpalatable proposition in today’s cost-conscious climate. Conversely, and crucially, too much caution in undertaking this endeavour will allow new players to enter the market to offer better services at cheaper rates and dominate the industry.
To follow-up on this sense of realism, Data Series Insight 4 will begin to explore how the required changes can be made more palatable…