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AIM Global Reference Data Management Survey 2014: Data management pressurized to meet the new operational imperatives

 AIM Software has announced the results of its Global Reference Data Management Survey, conducted for the ninth consecutive year. The study was designed to inquire into the driving forces, challenges, and planned investments for reference data management. This year’s survey was sponsored by SIX Financial Information and A-Team Group.

From December 2013 to June 2014, AIM Software ( and AIM Research Lab carried out its Global Reference Data Management Survey for the ninth consecutive time, with 106 financial institutions surveyed in 24 countries including the UK, USA, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Malaysia and the Netherlands.

A major finding of this year’s survey is that regulations (43%) and accessing budgets (35%) are the most cited number one headaches in data management. These results underline that regulatory compliance programs capture most of the attention and resources available, and often compete with data management initiatives.

Another finding is the shift in drivers for investment, where more than two out of three (71%) financial institutions consider operational efficiency as driving force for investing in a financial data management solution, followed by reduction of costs (56%).

“While they follow the industry discussions around data utilities, Investment Book of Record (IBOR) or the role of Chief Data Officer, data management executives face this reality: Business cases not directly linked with the company’s strategy or not showing immediate return are simply postponed to next year”, comments Olivier Kenji Mathurin, Head of Product Marketing at AIM Software and leading the AIM Research Lab. “For practical reasons, firms have made compromises and invest in technical workarounds, which can cause crippling costs and loss of productivity on the long run.”

Regarding future investments for the next 18 months, the survey highlights:
- Corporate actions (42%) and entities data (31%) are growing areas of investments, driven by efficiency, compliance and risk data aggregation requirements,
- One out of ten firms surveyed (11%) plan to outsource their data management activities, while 7% of respondent firms plan to use hosted or cloud-based systems.
- 60% of the firms surveyed place the responsibility of the data management function under the umbrella of Business Operations, while 4% place it under the role of a Chief Data Officer (CDO).
- 2% of the firms surveyed plan to invest in an IBOR solution.

“Regulations such as BCBS 239 or MiFID 2 provide colossal opportunities to implement meaningful changes at the group level. In the area of enterprise data management, business applications gain momentum rapidly because they address the new operational imperatives, and drastically improve the business case for investment compared to traditional approaches based on tools and custom developments”, adds Mathurin.

Dirk Sebald, Head of Product Management & Marketing at SIX Financial Information, said: “We are pleased to take part in this industry survey in the reference data management area again. For about a decade, the AIM survey has measured trends, issues and progress toward integrated, enterprise-wide data management in our industry. Each year, the survey provides invaluable, actionable information that SIX Financial Information uses to help facilitating our efforts and ability to support our clients’ current initiatives as well as to anticipate their future needs based on trends.”

Andrew Delaney, Chief Content Officer of A-Team Group, co-sponsor of the survey, concludes: "We are happy to be involved once again in AIM Software's comprehensive survey of the financial data management segment. Readers of our Reference Data Review online news services – and attendees of our series of Data Management Summit conferences – look forward to this annual snapshot of our marketplace, and we are delighted to be part of it."