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National Australia Group’s Campbell Discusses its Recent Master Data Management Project

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National Australia Group (NAG) was engaged in a total of 22 data related projects last year, according to the group’s information architect Martin Campbell. Speaking at this month’s FIMA conference in London, Campbell discussed the decision to implement a new master data management system in partnership with software and consulting firm IPL in order to achieve greater consistency across the organisation and these tactically driven projects.

Campbell explained to delegates that his firm has noticed a step change in the approach towards data management over the last few years as a result of the changing regulatory agenda, a management imperative to understand data and the need to get a better handle on data quality. “Our decision to move forward with a enterprise information management project was driven by a desire for greater consistency of approach to data from across the enterprise,” he said.

In order to get business level buy in to this concept, Campbell’s team therefore approached the chief risk officer (CRO) and the chief marketing officer (CMO) to get them directly involved. They also used a framework approach to demonstrate the firm’s current capabilities and the various data related gaps that needed to be filled, with relevant maturity models mapped out. The initial focus was on customer data, he explained, but was not limited to technology, rather people and process issues were included.

“We focused on two key aspects: an enterprise data foundation, and enterprise data and analytics capabilities,” Campbell said.

IPL’s business consulting director Chris Bradley, who was involved in the project from the vendor side, explained that the teams got together to define the goals and principles for the project, including the rationale and potential implications. Rather than opting for a centralised hub, NAG instead decided to adopt a federated approach to the data management framework and Bradley explained that the idea was to put in place “application building blocks” for data management and downstream users.

“This involved the adjustment of data management activities to match NAG’s business activities,” said Bradley.

Campbell added: “It has been a process of cultural change and over the last 18 months much has been achieved but we are far from finished. It’s a multi-year journey.”

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