12 Apr '21

Collibra Data Citizens 2021 – what you need to know

Collibra, one of DTSQUARED’s partners, hosted their annual Data Citizens Connect event 24th March 2021, which focussed on unlocking the business value of data within financial services. It was great to see that despite these unprecedented times, Collibra were able to adapt and run an event like this, that provided a networking opportunity for circa 1,000 data professionals to interact, engage and learn with their peers. Perhaps the new ‘norm’ may lead to wider networking opportunities across the globe than anticipated.

Collibra supplied a depth of industry knowledge and insights from a panel of guest speakers including Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada, UBS, HSBC, Canada Life and London Stock Exchange. DTSQUARED is proud to be able to have worked both past and present with a number of the impressive panel.

The seminar was entitled ‘Unlocking the business value of data in financial services’, a topic that DTSQUARED is both experienced and passionate about. The title resonated with us because of the focus on the word ‘business’. Whilst for many the title of Chief Data Officer resides at the top of the hierarchy within the data landscape, it is easy to overlook that the ‘business’ is generally driving success in the form of revenue for most financial services companies and should therefore always be a key consideration within any data strategy.

Collibra’s Data Citizens Connect uncovered some interesting observations and within this blog, we have pulled out the key themes that echoed our experiences and data management advice to our clients.

  • All journey’s start somewhere, for a number of banks it started with BCBS 239 (Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s standard number 239), and a defensive reaction to the standards. However, beyond the regulatory driver lies data enablement. Incorporating data into all facets of the financial services firms is important to ensure companies maintain relevance in a data centric environment and extract value from its data. 
  • Strong sponsorship, the power to influence and local accountability facilitates better adoption. Everyone has a responsibility, either via Policy or general corporate duty of care, but are they aware of their role and responsibility? If not, easy fixes could be as simple as:
    • Documenting roles and responsibilities in a RACI
    • Instating a Design Authority Forum to support cross functional collaboration
    • Ensure appropriate data management training is made available to the business
  • Start small and scale. Data is not a sprint, its not even a marathon. There is a consistent evolving landscape due to technology advancements. It is therefore important to ensure solid foundations are instated before scaling across an enterprise. If data were building blocks, data governance and data architecture would be the foundations.
  • Alignment of Data Strategy to Business Strategy is crucial, in addition ensuring there is a Technology Strategy to support delivery/implementation. Build a business case based on tangible business benefits, it will likely secure greater funding and conviction by the business. A Business engagement process, to listen, understand and respond to the business’ requirements and goals, will help to unlock the desired business outcomes.
  • Good quality data, empowered data stewards and maximum business value is achieved through a balance of focus between data stewardship, technology capabilities and business content. With growing levels of automation, Data Ethics is also becoming increasingly more important and should be incorporated into Codes of Conducts. Pivoting from the “can we” to the “should we” principle; just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Whilst not easy, with an appropriate programme of work and approach, the data utopia of data as an asset on the balance sheet can certainly be achieved. Although this event was targeted towards the financial services sector, a number of other sectors such as Utilities, are now experiencing comparable standards. If you are interested in discussing ways to implement a data management framework and/or adhere to your industry standards bodies then please contact us here

You can also sign up for future blogs on this topic here .

For those interested and unable to attend Collibra Data Citizens 24th March 2021, please find a link here.

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