A-Team’s survey, commissioned by Reuters, which explored the approaches to reference data management of 100 reference data managers, has now been made available free of charge. We’d like to extend a big thanks to all the managers who spared their time to take part. To get your copy and understand how your peers handle the data challenge, you can register to download at: http://about.reuters.com/productinfo/datascope/
In the meantime, here is an excerpt of some of the key findings of the most wide-ranging research into views of the reference data industry for over two years:
Discretionary objectives, such as achieving straight through processing or improving operational efficiency, have highlighted reference data issues in the past. But it is the enforced drivers of an increasingly stringent regulatory environment – including measures aimed at countering international terrorism and corporate abuse – that are driving through changes in the approaches financial institution’s take to manage reference data.
Eighty percent of survey respondents have instituted a strategic approach to reference data management; 17 percent have not yet, but intend to implement a strategy in the near future. Only three percent do not have any plans for such a strategy.
Senior management at many firms are endorsing, and even driving, the strategic approach to data management: 46 percent of firms have approval up to board or company director level. These senior managers are instituting organizational changes to elevate the importance of and to leverage central data repositories, breaking the mould of a traditionally silo-based approach to data management.
With this strategic approach, a more coordinated approach to data management supporting front office as well as mid- and back-office functions is emerging. An overwhelming 81 percent of respondents believed that savings and efficiencies could be gained from rationalizing data sources across the front to back office. Sixty-four percent said this approach was part of their current data management strategy.
Indeed, 30 percent of respondents already have a single data management group responsible for market and reference data to support front- through back-office businesses. An additional 45 percent have some level of coordination at varying levels.
This coordinated approach is a trend likely to continue: 97 percent of respondents with an existing coordinated approach to managing data across front to back office, said they expected this level of coordination to increase.
There were many perceived benefits from such an approach that were cited including increased accuracy and consistency of data, reduction in operational risk, and cost savings in rationalized data sources among others.
Reference data is emerging as a catalyst for business transformation and substantial innovation for financial services institutions as they undergo significant internal change. Given the level of investment into managing data, some firms are asking how to leverage it to bring in new business and generate revenues. Said one respondent, “If we’ve done the work, why not let others benefit from it and create a business for ourselves at the same time”. The concept of transforming good reference data management from a cost centre into a profit centre is still in its infancy, but is a trend to look out for.
For more findings and full results, download your copy at http://about.reuters.com/productinfo/datascope/