Companies can gain a significant competitive advantage if they leverage their data assets better. Corporate boards and C-level executives are under tremendous pressure related to business critical data. These pressures include improving risk management, eliminating fraud, and providing transparency into internal business processes and controls. These processes have to be supported by metrics across the information supply chain end-to-end. This is a daunting undertaking, and the implementation challenge is compounded by a firm’s culture, legacy infrastructure, complex data architecture, data management capability, and siloed approaches to data management.
Business PrioritiesConsumers of corporate data require data that they can trust, that is available in a timely manner, and that meets their specific business need. Some of their priorities are:
- Transparency – Give data consumers timely access and transparency into business critical data
- Business Intelligence – Deploy capabilities to support decision making
- Compliance – Ensure strong controls, transaction logs, transaction history, and version control and ensure that software captures pertinent control-related data at each process step and has workflow capabilities to facilitate that
- Time-to-Value – Reduce the time it takes to deploy business solutions that add value
- Automation – Incorporate straight-through transaction processing (i.e., lights-out processing) that incorporates alerts and graceful recovery and shutdown
- Data Deluge and Complexity – Process billions of complex data records efficiently and within service level agreements
- High Quality Data – Provide high quality data that meets or exceeds the consumers’ requirements
- Data Lineage – Capture the lineage of data as it flows through various systems and data stores
- Total Cost of Ownership – Reduce development, maintenance and infrastructure expenses to address budgetary challenges.
10 “Must Have” Enterprise Data Management Capabilities
There is no silver bullet that addresses all the business priorities listed above, but the ten enterprise data management (EDM) capabilities that firms must invest in to gain competitive advantage are:
- Data Governance – Implement processes, policies, procedures and standards to govern business critical data
- Holistic Data Quality Management (HDQ) – Deploy a data quality framework for consistently defining data quality requirements and implement proactive management of data quality for business critical data across the information supply chain
- Metadata Management – Capture data definitions, business glossaries, data dictionaries, and other metadata required to support the business activities
- Master Data Management (MDM) – Develop single versions of the truth for key business entities such as customers, accounts, products, suppliers, etc.
- Data Lineage – Ability to track a particular data element or set of data elements across various systems of record
- Data Reconciliation – Perform data and business transaction-level reconciliations. Reconciling data between internal data stores (TXN to ODS, ODS to mart, mart to warehouse, upstream and downstream, reports vs. data source, etc.) and between internal and external data sources (ratings, securities data, etc.)
- Data Forensics – Implement data forensics (profiling), issue management and root-cause analysis capability for data quality issues
- Data Certification – Develop data certification processes and associated business solutions to certify the quality of internally generated and externally sourced data with associated evidence (transaction logs, workflow process, audit trail etc.)
- Data Discovery – Discover relationships between data elements and data entities across one or more data stores, to identify anomalies and patterns
- Business Intelligence – Provide a near-real-time view into business intelligence to enable better decision making, reporting and disclosures.
ConclusionMany organizations have implemented some or all of the EDM capabilities listed above, but the maturity of each capability varies. An EDM Capability Maturity Assessment can identify the level of maturity (on a scale from 1 to 5) of each of these ten capabilities and highlight specific areas that must be strengthened. An EDM strategy, roadmap and implementation plan must be developed to address the weaknesses, taking business priorities into account.
Improving EDM capabilities across the information supply chain requires the integration of business process management, data governance, data quality, metadata management, master data management and business intelligence products and services. There are proven EDM methodologies, design patterns and disruptive technical solutions that can be applied to address them. To reduce time-to-value and leverage industry best practices, firms may need to rely upon and utilize internal subject matter experts and external systems integration partners that have a track record in the EDM solutions domain.