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Establishing and Maintaining a Data Driven Culture

By John Yelle, DTCC Executive Director, Data Management | June 18, 2021

Understanding motivations from stakeholders can help data management professionals not only create a modern data organization but establish a data-driven culture backed by a well-defined enterprise data strategy that supports business objectives and drives results.

Establishing a Data-Driven Culture

A modern data organization is one that best supports internal and external stakeholders. Data management professionals need to help stakeholders understand how data can add value to all their operations. Communication across all levels of the organization and discussions around successes while being realistic about challenges can help firms begin the journey to a data-driven culture.

Linking data initiatives to dependent business objectives illustrates how a proactive focus on data management adds value. The best approach to engage stakeholders is to start with a business problem or opportunity and work backward to the data needed to deliver a solution. Business data requirements for the same data vary across use cases - business processes, supporting solutions, reporting, analytics, and regulatory requirements. Combining all aspects into a data estate creates a strong data management foundation.

The use of a data management maturity model is a best practice that connects the dots between prioritized data management capabilities and strategic business objectives.

Use Best Practices

The use of a data management maturity model is a best practice that connects the dots between prioritized data management capabilities and strategic business objectives. It helps stakeholders and decision makers appreciate the necessity of foundational data management practices. Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM™) from the Enterprise Data Management Council is a data management maturity model that enables users to assess maturity levels and prioritize investments in capabilities to support business objectives. DCAM is both an assessment tool and a capability framework that provides a comprehensive inventory of practices used to establish and sustain capabilities.

Drive Cultural Change

As business users become more familiar with data and how they can put it to use, their needs, and expectations for access to more and different types of data grows. The phrase “data democratization” has become popular over the past few years. It’s meant to convey the demand those needs, and expectations introduce to an enterprise and the cultural change it drives. Through democratization, business users are empowered to find fit-for-purpose data sources and have confidence in the quality levels of the data they need. Allowing the entire organization to have appropriate access to data helps establish a data-driven culture and realize the value of data assets as more users independently start with data to solve problems and realize new opportunities.

Why Now?

Moving to an “everything digital” API economy is a business objective that depends on a data-driven culture. The financial industry’s digital transformation presents an excellent opportunity for data to be a change agent and accelerate the transformation. A digital transformation basically means pretty much everything a business does is represented by or, at a minimum, depends on data content. Essentially all the content a business depends on is digitized – i.e. stored in bits and bytes. This digital data content is the basis for information used in all business processes used to deliver services and support all aspects of a business. It’s also increasingly the institutional knowledge of an enterprise. Data intensive technologies such as advanced analytics and artificial intelligence are part of the digital transformation and are great examples of the how we increasingly depend directly on quality data while also contributing to ever increasing volume, velocity and variety of data.

Building trust and camaraderie through collaboration across the enterprise to take data culture to the new level a digital transformation demands is foundational. When managed well, data is the ultimate “silo-buster” due to the value delivered when data is managed as an enterprise asset. Digital transformation initiatives present a huge opportunity to accelerate the move to a data-driven culture. Data management professionals are well positioned to make significant contributions to these efforts and, I truly believe, will show these transformations are all about the data those bits and bytes represent – cataloging it, defining it, proactively controlling it, making it discoverable and available for broader use to fully democratize data. This is especially true for financial services industry, where everything is data.

Yelle is the Executive Director of Enterprise Data Management at DTCC. In addition, Yelle sits on the Board of Directors for the EDM (Enterprise Data Management) Council, the leading advocate for the development and implementation of Data Standards, Best Practices and comprehensive Training and Certification programs.

John Yelle, DTCC Executive Director, Data Management
John Yelle Executive Director, Data Management

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