Survey Reveals Urgency of Data Governance Projects Among Financial Services Firms, Though Formal Initiatives Still Largely Nascent Across Industry

Boston - 22 September 2015

New research from Eagle Investment Systems and WatersTechnology benchmarks progress in implementing formal data governance policies across financial services and offers best practices in successfully moving these initiatives forward.

Eagle Investment Systems LLC, a BNY Mellon company and leading provider of financial services technology, together with WatersTechnology, has released a white paper offering new research on where the market currently stands in relation to the implementation of formal data governance policies. The research reveals that only a small minority of global financial services firms can claim to have a mature data governance strategy in place. However, the survey also found that more than 80% of survey respondents believe their organizations recognize the value of data as an asset and over 40% view the implementation of a formal data governance strategy as an immediate priority.

The white paper, "Command and control: Establishing a formal data governance strategy," published research from a survey of technology and data management professionals. Beyond highlighting the benefits of a formal data governance strategy – including material improvements in the accuracy, security and accessibility of data – the paper also underscored the potential threats inherent to a less-structured approach. Nearly 60% of respondents reported operational inefficiencies as a result of not having a formal strategy in place, 15% cited lost clients, and nearly 10% revealed that their organizations have suffered a security breach. Moreover, 41% cited increased data complexity due to the deployment of multiple systems.

"The survey highlights how critical a data governance policy is as organizations seek to efficiently and consistently deal with the growing volume and pace of information," described Paul McInnis, Head of Enterprise Data Management at Eagle Investment Systems. "The challenges of developing a formal data governance policy are significant, as success always comes down to people and processes. Senior executives need to advocate for it and seamless coordination and collaboration between the business users and IT is required. Success in data governance dictates ongoing oversight and systematic reviews to measure the completeness, accuracy, consistency and timeliness of the data."

Among the more notable findings from the survey:

  • More than 80% of respondents believe their organizations recognize the value of data as an asset but only 35.8% currently have a mature data governance strategy in place.
  • The implementation of a formal data governance strategy is an immediate priority at 43.2% of organizations, and 53.5% of those respondents plan to introduce one in the next 12 months.
  • 15.1% of respondents have lost a client, 9.4% have suffered a security breach, and 58.5% have experienced operational inefficiencies as a result of not having a data governance strategy in place. Additionally, 41.5% have faced increased data complexity due to the deployment of multiple systems.
  • Respondents with a mature data governance strategy identified several benefits including improvements in data accuracy, security and availability.
  • The top three challenges in establishing a formal strategy are: defining success measures, developing a consistent data glossary or taxonomy, and establishing data ownership. 

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