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Keep Your Data Vendors Close and Your Users Closer, Deutsche Bank EDM Head Says

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Success in enterprise data management (EDM) programmes is dependent on education – of internal users, of data vendors and of the EDM team itself. So said Jim McCarthy, EDM programme manager at Deutsche Bank, speaking at FIMA 2007 in London earlier this month.

“It’s a constant for us to ensure we can describe our data, that people understand what we have and how to use it, and that they have tools to easily use it, where possible in a self-service way,” he told delegates. “A lot of the issues we face are due to users having ready access to data but finding out further down the line that there is a vendor or set of attributes that could have better fulfilled their purpose.”

A firm’s relationship with its data vendors should be one of mutual education, he suggested. “We have built up very strong relationships with our data vendors,” McCarthy added. “We meet regularly. We educate them, they educate us. We make sure we are clearly in line with product releases and that we understand the impact of any changes on our users. And we make sure the data metrics we have created are clear to our vendors.” There is also a focus on ensuring these metrics are “pushed through to our users, so people have transparency on how data quality is achieved”, he continued.

McCarthy told the FIMA audience that “maintaining good working relationships with operations is vital”. “We need to understand how our data flows through their systems.” Under the auspices of the bank’s EDM programme – run by a steering committee that prioritises work and co-ordinates the management of larger change programmes while accommodating with the rapid time to market demands of tactical pieces of work – an effort has been undertaken to identify strategic projects within business lines “with a strong reliance on the quality of our data”, he said. “Once we identify a service with a dependency, we use our reporting to track the external and internal performance of our group and vendor groups,” he added, warning: “None of this works unless you can start to show value.”

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