Why Agile Data Management is Crucial to Business Transformation

Blog entry

Business transformation has become a must-do for many asset managers in a market characterised by competition, regulation and digital communication, but how can asset managers achieve this, what results are they looking for, and what are the long-term benefits of business transformation based on strong data management and governance foundations?

These questions and more were answered during a recent A-Team Group webinar covering how agile data management can power business transformation. The webinar was moderated by A-Team editor, Sarah Underwood, and joined by Ali Jaffer, vice president of investment operations in data and application support at AGF Investments; Sanjay Saxena, head of enterprise data governance at Northern Trust; and Marc Rubenfeld, Head of Eagle Solutions, EMEA and APAC at Eagle Investment Systems.

Webinar Recording: How agile data management can power business transformation

An early poll of webinar participants on their organisations’ plans for business transformation over the next couple of years showed 74% of respondents planning transformation to drive operational efficiency, 62% planning to drive regulatory compliance, 24% asset class expansion and 15% growth in assets under management. These statistics tally pretty well with the results of A-Team research into business transformation powered by agile data management systems that was recently published in a white paper sponsored by Eagle Investment Systems.

Featured Download: Poll results on How agile data management can power business transformation from our recent webinar audience

Considering the drivers of transformation, Saxena noted that business transformation programmes are often dedicated to front-office expansion of the customer base and improved customer service, or middle- and back-office improvement of efficiency based in part on data quality. At AGF Investments, Jaffer said the firm is concentrating on efficiency and assets under management, and is in the process of building a data quality metrics tool.

If these are some of the drivers of transformation, there can be barriers to success. The A-Team research shows legacy systems, lack of budget, data silos, business silos and a lack of management buy-in as constraints on investment in underlying data management for transformation. The webinar speakers agreed that management buy-in to a strong data management foundation is key to success, along with backing for data governance and a commitment to data quality.

Rubenfeld explained: “The key elements of success are senior management buy-in, a sound data management framework, and an agile approach to meeting objectives. For example, an agile approach to changing regulatory requirements allows data to be managed and stored in a framework and used iteratively through design as requirements are finalised.”

A second poll of webinar participants on the potential business benefits of a strong data management foundation showed 73% of respondents expecting to improve operational risk mitigation, 70% agility, 62% decision making, 51% new business enablement and 49% cost savings.

Responding to research showing a majority of organisations finding existing data management operations a help rather than hindrance to transformation programmes, the webinar speakers agreed that a more strategic approach to agile data management developed over recent years has made systems more pliable, while a tactical approach can be detrimental over time.

Providing advice to data management practitioners working on business transformation programmes, the panel said ensure business management buy-in, understand the business objectives behind the programme, and take a proactive approach to data.

Listen to the webinar to find out more about:

  • Business transformation programmes
  • The role of data management
  • The need for data governance and quality
  • How to develop agile data management
  • Barriers and beneficial outcomes