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Make Data Management Tangible for Executives in Order to Secure Funding, advises Oppenheimer’s Giordano

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If you’re going to take a federated approach to data management in order to solve issues, such as regulatory compliance, Peter Giordano of Oppenheimer & Co. advised delegates at FIMA 2008 that you make your business case tangible by including such things as “neat analytics” or dashboards for the front office, in order to help management understand the tangible results that can be gained, and thus secure funding.

In his presentation Giordano, who is executive director of institutional equities at Oppenheimer, illustrated the point with specific business cases at his firm. For example, Oppenheimer leveraged two years’ worth of compliance efforts, which had resulted in many key data elements such as legal entity data and hierarchical structures, in order to generate client profitability analytics. “The costs of execution by client, or looking at settlement costs by client, may be disparate areas but when rolled up can become a very powerful tool,” he told delegates.

Another example he cited was the work done to support the Order Audit Trail System (OATS) yielded valuable data enabling them to view and adapt trader behaviour, monitor smart order routing techniques, use the information to negotiate with vendors, and improve profitability. For example when looking at their order routing, they realised that for three exchanges, which were expensive to maintain connections to, less than 1% of order flow went through them. A decision was made to ‘kill’ the connectivity, resulting in significant savings for the firm.

He said: “You need salesmanship to get funding for enterprise data management projects.” He suggested that you look not just at the specific problem you’re solving but the long term goal and spell out the tangible results along the way. “Sometimes, however, you have to leave the complex or great ideas that develop through the project on the cutting room floor in order to deliver on time and on budget for senior management.”

Once you’ve delivered your project, be sure to go back to the business case you made and ask if you’ve delivered on all of it. “It’s important to look at what was promised,” he said, otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll get support for future projects. It is also useful to open up the service to other business groups even if they didn’t participate as you can provide them with useable tools and widen the buy-in for the project.

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