John Bottega - Citigroup


John Bottega, Chief Data Officer, Citi Markets & Banking

1 What do you believe is the main value of the FIMA events to the data management community?

Gathering the top data management professionals together is one of the most valuable aspects of the FIMA events. First, you get to hear from these experts on a variety of agenda topics covering everything from regulatory issues to data management best practices. Second - and perhaps most important - is the opportunity to network with your peers, spending time one-on-one or in small groups, and hearing how various approaches are working (or not working) within their firms.

2 Do you think the industry has made progress in its data management goals since FIMA 2006 in London? In what areas?

The challenge of efficient data management in our industry comes from the reengineering challenge that many of us face – in undoing legacy systems and processes.

How is progress measured? First and foremost is through awareness, and in that sense, we’ve made very good progress. Actual implementation takes time – some goals are realized sooner than others. But through this improved awareness across the industry and within our firms, we now have the best opportunity to drive these important changes in the data management discipline.

3 What are the three biggest inhibitors to further success in data management in your view? How do you think the industry should seek to overcome them?

First, we all face the challenge of “undoing” old legacy processes and systems. This has to be approached carefully, of course, in order to avoid damaging existing processes while new processes are implemented. Getting past the legacy challenge is a matter of commitment. Realizing that this challenge can be solved is the biggest part of the battle.

Second, proper design and implementation of governance is critical. This covers both the governance of the overall program as well as the actual “data” governance, to ensure proper standards are established and data is properly and consistently used throughout a firms’ business cycle. Governance requires buy-in and transparency. It is easy to get people together, but establishing the right level of governance, ensuring effective communication and being transparent with progress is critical to the process. These factors are the most important to the governance implementation.

And third, identification and capture of metrics is key. The impact of data is extremely systemic. Because of this, capturing the metrics needed to build the business case and demonstrate progress is a great challenge, and can be an inhibitor to success. To make progress on metrics, you have to slice the problem into manageable pieces. As I’ve described in previous presentations and as an example of what we are doing at Citi, the trick is to take measurable slices of our business processes, end-to-end, to demonstrate the impact of data. This breaks down the challenge into manageable parts, and demonstrates progress to management and the stakeholders. The good news is that improvements are happening in this area – we’re getting better at it, which will turn an inhibitor into a powerful data management tool.

4 In what ways could the providers of data and data management technology better support financial institutions in their data management goals?


The industry must move towards information and symbology standards. The more standard the information is from our data providers, the easier it will be to acquire. Bringing in new sources is always a challenge for firms, especially if it involves bringing new data into legacy environments. By adhering to a standard format (with standard terms and conditions), the ease of supplementing data with additional sources increases. Standards help everyone – they make it easier for the providers to sell their information and for the consumer to utilize it.