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2017 – The Year of Data

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2017 may be the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar, but in the capital markets calendar it is the Year of Data – data that will drive regulatory compliance, business transformation, client satisfaction, improved performance and more!

Of course, data has been in the picture since way before the last Year of the Rooster in 2005 – when perhaps it came home to roost, apologies for the pun – but it is now at the top of the agenda, gaining senior management attention and promising to be the solution to all, or at least many, of our problems.

If 2017 is the Year of Data, there is more than enough to do before 2018, the Year of the Dog and, perhaps in financial markets, the Year of FinTech. This year, as always since 2008, regulation remains a priority, with firms working on compliance with wide-reaching regulations including Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Where tactical approaches sealed the deal on lesser regulations over the past few years, 2017 is the time to take a strategic approach to regulation based on common data requirements, a sound data foundation and collaboration using utilities that ease the burden of repetitive and duplicative in-house reference data management.

You can find out more about these regulations and other hot topics by signing up to join A-Team Group’s 2017 webinars that are designed to help you overcome data management challenges and gain operational and business benefits.

Data will also drive business transformation, particularly among buy-side firms squeezed by increasing regulation and a hostile financial environment. In this context, data, data quality and data governance will be fundamental to success, reshaping firms and providing survival tools such as agility, flexibility and better customer service.

We’ve talked about the importance of data quality and governance, a well as data lineage, for the past couple of years, particularly as a result of the implementation of regulation BCBS 239 in 2016, but this year the talk needs to turn into action across the enterprise so that firms can drive business understanding and value out of their data, develop new business, cut out redundant processes and products, and push up profit margins. If these are top line ambitions, data must be a focus for all contributing activities from client onboarding and Know Your Customer due diligence to risk management, regulatory compliance and business strategy.

All very well, but how are firms going to make the step change, get to grips with their data and make best use of it? You can find out the answers to these questions at A-Team’s upcoming Data Management Summits in London and New York City.

Meantime, we expect to see further decline in in-house development of data management tools through 2017 and an uptick in uptake of vendor managed services and shared utilities. It could also be the tipping point for cloud technology that has gone a long way to dispel concerns about privacy and security, and can deliver sizeable advantages of flexibility, reduced costs and idea generation to smart adopters.

Other emerging technologies we expect to make their mark in 2017 include sophisticated data visualisation that goes far beyond today’s solutions, and cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning that will be applied increasingly to data management, analytics and big data – such a past tense term!

Blockchain? Hmm, not too sure it will deliver on its promise of cutting out the middleman to any great extent this year, or even next year, but if you’re a fintech fan keep your finger on the pulse and keep an eye out for virtual reality concepts that could change the way we assimilate and use data.

Last, but certainly not least, what about the chief data officer (CDO)? Opinion differs here, but we reckon 2017 will see more appointments to the role and a place on the board for data experts with a business mindset. That said, don’t get too many business cards printed, the title is likely to morph as data hits the high note.

So, there we have it, 2017, the Year of Data. We hope it’s a good one for you.

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