About a-team Marketing Services
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

The Front Office is Not Your Enemy, it’s Your Client, Says WestLB’s Eldridge

Subscribe to our newsletter

In order to receive management buy-in, data management teams need to treat the front office as a client rather than as an enemy, said Michael Eldridge, head of European operations control at WestLB. “We need to dispel the myth that centralised data management is a luxury, build a better business case for investment by measuring the real cost of bad data and treat the front office as a client and better meet their needs,” he told FIMA 2008 delegates.

There needs to be a cultural shift in data management in order to more effectively approach senior management when attempting to get funding. Data management has traditionally been overlooked and understated, explained Eldridge, and this will continue if no action is taken to deal with underlying issues. “We unknowingly contribute to the myth that data centralisation and automation is a luxury by being too focused on the technical aspects of data. We need to instead focus on how data contributes to a firm’s P&L,” he suggested.

The real cost of bad data on institutions is measurable, he argued, giving examples such as the downstream impact of bad data in futures and options rules, which could result in missed options, and inaccurate data in currency and settlement accounts, which could result in late payments. “We need to look at what we provide and its measurable impact on the front office,” he added.

“The real areas of interest to senior management and the front office are levels of costs of exception management and of errors and claims,” he said. “We have not traditionally looked at our error rates in the same manner as other parts of the business, but this needs to be done.”

Eldridge recommended the use of a simple formula to achieve management buy-in: produce measures of technical structures (such as data volumes) plus operational risks (such as error rates), which equals data’s value to an organisation. “Another key part of this is treating the front office as you would an external client,” he said. “In order to better service them, we need to understand them.”

Rather than using technical jargon and confusing front office staff, data management teams should act as the vendors to their front office clients. Eldridge acknowledged that this would represent a significant attitude shift but warned that delegates must take heed in order to push data management projects up the corporate agenda.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: New opportunities to scale data operations

Faced with tough competition and ongoing pressure on margins, many firms are reviewing their operating models and assessing whether they can reallocate more resources to high-value projects by outsourcing commoditised processes including data operations. This webinar will explore the different approaches that buy-side and sell-side firms are adopting to scale their data operations, including market...

BLOG

Snowflake Unifies Data and Extends Governance Capabilities in Data Cloud

Snowflake has eliminated data silos from Data Cloud by unifying data in a single data foundation that is secured by the company’s Horizon governance model. It has also enhanced Data Cloud to allow users to bring AI and app development directly to their enterprise data. “Snowflake’s latest innovations ensure that customers have the ability to...

EVENT

Data Management Summit London

Now in its 14th year, the Data Management Summit (DMS) in London brings together the European capital markets enterprise data management community, to explore how data strategy is evolving to drive business outcomes and speed to market in changing times.

GUIDE

RegTech Suppliers Guide 2020/2021

Welcome to the second edition of A-Team Group’s RegTech Suppliers Guide, an essential aid for financial institutions sourcing innovative solutions to improve their regulatory response, and a showcase for encumbent and new RegTech vendors with offerings designed to match market demand. Available free of charge and based on an industry-wide survey, the guide provides a...