Research & Thoughts

Doing Data Differently

Why and how should you stop being an organization that manages data and become a Data Management Organization?

A recent Capco survey questioned European financial executives on five key aspects of their current data approach. The findings reveal a story of inconsistencies, lost opportunities, and complete unknowns. The bottom line is that we need to do data differently. Find out more.

Data – Still the “unknown unknown”?
"But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Department briefing, February 12, 2002

Secretary Rumsfeld was greeted with amusement, derision even, when his infamous words first aired more than a decade ago. But do they have relevance to our management of data in the financial services industry today? Does data remain in the category of ‘unknown unknowns’?

The Capco hypothesis – We need to ‘do data differently’
“Data is a vector of organizational change.” Maurizio Bradlaw, Partner, Capco

Our work with clients in FS around the world has given us broad and deep insight into the challenges – and the opportunities – presented by effective data management. For some time, we have believed that data is the ‘final frontier’. It is big, largely ‘untamed’, and often misunderstood.

In all financial services organizations of scale, data proliferates. Yet the ways in which it is managed vary substantially from one institution to another. Even more significantly, approaches vary from one part of the same organization to another. And, at the most fundamental level, there is substantial variation in how senior managers actually view the data itself. Is it an asset? Is it a burden, made heavier by the increasing demands of regulatory compliance?

We need a new ‘data culture’
There is one certainty: data and its effective management can no longer be ignored. But achieving more with data demands more than saying institutions are currently ‘doing it wrong’. We need a constructive, cross-organizational and practicable approach to effective data management.

This approach must be consistent yet flexible enough to accommodate changing market and operational conditions. It must be supported by the most appropriate technologies and systems. Above all, it must be driven by a common ‘data culture’.

The data culture will recognize data as the core asset it already is today (albeit that in many organizations the asset value is either underestimated or overlooked completely). It will acknowledge how much more important data will become, as the unstructured inputs generated by social media grow exponentially. And it will align with growing consumer expectations. Customers want to know that their data will be stored securely, applied accurately, and used intelligently, in order to drive ever-increasing customer service standards and product innovation.


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