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Majority of RDR Readers Either Have a CDO or Will Have Soon

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Data is on the radar of the regulatory community and the industry at large and, accordingly, the number of chief data officers (CDOs) out there has increased markedly over recent years. In fact, five years ago the position wasn’t available: it took the appointment of John Bottega to the newly created position of CDO at Citi in 2006 to get the ball rolling. And it continues to roll, according to 53% of Reference Data Review readers, who either have a CDO in place or will do soon.

It seems that much like the force behind the rising importance of the risk management function within financial institutions, regulatory scrutiny is driving more and more firms to appoint board level executives to take charge of their data quality issues. The theory is that these executives, charged with the corporate ‘ownership’ of a firm’s data assets, ensure that all is well maintained and used to best advantage. After all, in this current climate firms need to get a better handle on their instrument and counterparty data in order to accurately measure risk exposure and compliance.

There has previously been a lot of talk about the increase in the number of CDOs in the market, but not much evidence to support this notion. But with 29% of you with a CDO already in place and 24% planning to add one to your management team soon, the future is looking brighter for data.

Last month’s poll indicated that times are tough for data management teams out there, with the majority facing either a moratorium on hiring new staff or job cuts. Despite the increased market volatility and its knock on impact on data volumes, most data managers are being forced to make do with their current staffing resources. But it seems that CDOs are not the casualties in these cost cutting exercises.

Of course, not everyone out there will have a CDO in place any time soon: 47% of respondents indicated that their firms have no plans to add a senior management team member focused on data in the near future. Perhaps these firms will push the data management challenge to their technology teams or their risk or compliance groups instead in order to meet the requirements of the new market order? However, it could be argued that without buy in at the very highest levels of the enterprise, the prospects for any enterprise data management project are really quite dim.

Moreover data may be getting a seat at the table at many firms, but is it being heard over the din? This month we’re seeking to find out if firms’ budgets for data management and data quality issues have increased, decreased or remained the same. Make sure you get your vote in by clicking the voting buttons on our Reference Data Review channel homepage (see here).

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