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Data Management Summit Discusses How Best to Set up and Develop Data Governance

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Data governance was a hot topic at A-Team Group’s Data Management Summit (DMS) in New York City with Sanjay Saxena, head of enterprise data governance at Northern Trust, presenting best practices for setting up data governance, a panel discussing how to evolve data governance, and many more questions being asked and comments being made on the topic throughout the day.

Saxena outlined the initial need to focus on data governance as a business rather than regulatory programme, saying that by doing this, governance has a multiplier effect and can deliver improvements across the enterprise including better data quality, competitive edge and customer service.

The next steps are to identify critical data to govern – Saxena said Northern Trust will have 10% to 15% of data under governance by 2018 – and follow the principles of BCBS 239, regardless of whether your organisation is within the scope of the regulation. A change management initiative to reset culture within the organisation is also essential.

Detailing Northern Trust’s journey, Saxena said the bank made an initial assessment of the need for data governance in 2014, put an operating model in place, started to expand strategy and hire data stewards in 2015, and this year decided to operationalise the strategy based on the regulatory need for data governance under the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), and business alignment required to achieve compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and regulations. Plans are now being made to build out data governance across four or five major bank programmes, an achievement that Saxena says is a success story, but only a starting point.

Moving on to the panel session on evolving data governance, moderator Maryann Houglet, consulting partner, enterprise information management at Tata Consulting Services Global Consultancy Practice, was joined by Brian Buzzelli, senior vice president and head of data governance at Acadian Asset Management; Julia Bardmesser, head of data quality management, Americas, at Deutsche Bank; Guy McDonald, vice president, EDM Instruments at Nomura; Jay Yulo, vice president of data governance at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; and Sanjay Saxena.

The panel said data governance is not an option and noted compelling reasons to implement it beyond the regulatory imperative, including improving data quality, remaining competitive, enabling the business and driving better decisions out of data.

Looking at how to measure ROI from data governance and influence management spending, the panel agreed that it is unwise to boil the ocean and better to justify the cost of data governance and quality, and demonstrate ROI, in a large transformational project.

While technology can facilitate data governance, the panel repeated the importance of making governance a business rather than IT or regulatory issue, and said there are no individual technology tools in the market to support all necessary processes, although there are enabling tools that integrate and provide one view of meta data, lineage and data quality.

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