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EDM Evolves to Cover Workflow Orchestration, Study Finds

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Enterprise data management (EDM) is entering a new phase, progressing from a goal of collating, cleansing and storing data, and evolving into a broader strategy encompassing workflow orchestration and subsequent distribution to downstream applications. This is one of the key findings in a new white paper produced by A-Team Group and sponsored by Reuters. The most prominent drivers of this increased attention on EDM are risk management and regulatory compliance.

The white paper, Enterprise Data Management Goes Strategic: Next Generation EDM Must Support Financial Services Workflow – Globally, is based on research conducted by A-Team among senior managers at large global firms, including investment banks, investment managers and custodians. It finds that EDM drivers fall into six categories: competitive advantage, ability to manage regulations and compliance, enhanced risk management, increased operational and workflow efficiencies, more stable technology, and increased data technology.

Almost all the practitioners interviewed defined EDM as data plus workflow. All agreed there is a difference between EDM and data warehousing, and 100 per cent also said their EDM solutions would cover more than reference data. A-Team suggests that these results demonstrate how management values EDM implementations as cross-enterprise, cross-asset, cross-data and cross-functional solutions to help manage, streamline, automate and monitor their business.

The research also finds that institutions are increasingly taking a holistic view of data management that includes a range of components wrapped around and complementing their securities master files – including message-oriented middleware, enterprise application integration, workflow orchestration and other data types and technologies.

All of the respondents agreed that EDM’s value lies in “providing an integration platform between downstream and central data repository”. A-Team suggests that “using innovative technology is essential in enabling interoperability across applications and data distribution downstream: ultimately the efficiency and systematic approach that workflow orchestration can provide”.

Many of the practitioners interviewed by A-Team indicated that it is challenging to meet their EDM goals using the software that is currently available. Said one: “There’s nothing off the shelf that satisfies the need. There’s no one technology solution to buy that services more than one type of data.” A chief data officer added: “The ability to combine data held on multiple platforms within the organisation into a holistic platform which addresses all the needs of the business units is not there.”

When asked to elaborate on what was holding back standard technology development, 75 per cent of the respondents said “difficulty in accommodating a spectrum of data types”, with 67 per cent saying “creating a proprietary custom implementation”. “Diversity in end user needs” ranked third, cited by 58 per cent.

Most respondents said they were customising or had customised off-the-shelf solutions. They also reckoned professional services groups bring significant value to EDM deployment. When asked directly about off-the-shelf solutions, 92 per cent said “most off-the-shelf solutions need customisation” and that “flexibility is a driving factor”. However, respondents also endorsed the benefits of off-the-shelf solutions, such as saving implementation time, providing flexibility in enhancements, and providing a framework around which to build EDM capabilities with clients and partners.

Views on the validity of applying a standard data model encompassing streaming market data alongside reference data were mixed. Although many respondents said they wanted availability of their EDM solutions 24X7, 41 per cent said they wanted to keep real-time streaming data separate. A quarter said they needed real-time integration and 17 per cent considered availability of real-time market data with “just in time” reference data useful.

The efforts of the EDM Council appear to be paying dividends, with respondents indicating an interest in deploying quantitative metrics.

To see the white paper in full go to www.a-teamgroup.com/research.php

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