The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Progress can be made when client firms stand up and speak

Understanding the issues that clients are facing – and how they are going about handling them – gives us real insight into the progress the reference data industry is making. And by identifying trouble spots we can work to make further progress.

This is why gatherings of practitioners can be a very useful exercise. It’s true that some gatherings can be disregarded as feel-good events with little real substance, usually because people are too aware of the competitive pressures to be truly honest. But there are events that manage to move past this and present a true picture of the real issues being faced by those grappling with data problems.

As it was with the Azdex event held a few weeks ago in London during which representatives from Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, HBOS, and Standard Bank spoke candidly about their internal missions to manage client entity data.

As you’ll see from our case studies in this issue, CSFB has taken a distributed approach to the responsibility for the quality of its client entity data given the scale of their databases. By contrast, Standard Bank has taken a centralised approach, pulling all data into one central Client Information File with a unified team of data analysts responsible for its maintenance.

Each example has its own merits and drawbacks, which were honestly discussed by the data managers. For example, CSFB has eradicated multiple changes to the same data item across disparate databases – the multiple databases still exist, but a data attribute is changed in one place only and pumped out to the other databases. The difficulty in this approach has been the ongoing identification of the data owners who ‘care’ enough about any given attribute in order to maintain it. Meanwhile, Standard Bank has reduced duplication of data, but found that a much higher quality of data analyst was required than they originally thought.

In both cases a strategic approach was taken and both have the essential senior management support needed to pull off such large-scale projects.

We’re sure that many attendees learned from hearing about their experiences and can apply that knowledge to their own data management initiatives. If only more client firms could be persuaded to share so openly, the reference data industry could really make progress. After all, the issues are for the most part basic, even mundane, issues that are holding back regulatory compliance, operational efficiencies and straight through processing across the industry.

Surely financial institutions should be focusing on their real business of serving their clients, managing investments, product innovation and other valuable aspects rather than the administrative side. By working together and sharing experiences, all firms could move faster towards making the administration layer almost invisible rather than trying to use it to gain a (temporary) competitive edge. We admit this is a somewhat utopian view of the data world. The very people we’re suggesting should stand up and help others learn from their experience to eradicate data problems are the very people that would then have no job if this succeeded. And of course, we at Reference Data Review might have to find another topic to become engrossed in.

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: Leveraging data lineage to deliver tangible business benefits

Data lineage is central to data quality, accuracy and access. It is also essential to understanding your data and data flows, systems from simple applications to multiple business intelligence solutions, and how people in your organisation are using data. Implemented across the enterprise, data lineage can provide significant business benefits, including new business opportunities, better...

BLOG

Orenda Taps Twitter and AI to Provide Real-Time, High-Frequency ESG Scores

Orenda Software Solutions is taking an innovative approach to ESG by tapping Twitter content and using an AI powered platform to provide real-time, high-frequency ESG scores and insights into a company’s reputation that can help measure the sustainability and societal impact of an investment. The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Tanya Seajay, a...

EVENT

Data Management Summit Virtual

The Data Management Summit Virtual brings together the global data management community to share lessons learned, best practice guidance and latest innovations to emerge from the recent crisis. Hear from leading data practitioners and innovators from the UK, US and Europe who will share insights into how they are pushing the boundaries with data to deliver value with flexible but resilient data driven strategies.

GUIDE

Entity Data Management Handbook – Seventh Edition

Sourcing entity data and ensuring efficient and effective entity data management is a challenge for many financial institutions as volumes of data rise, more regulations require entity data in reporting, and the fight again financial crime is escalated by bad actors using increasingly sophisticated techniques to attack processes and systems. That said, based on best...