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How Data Governance-as-a-Service can transform the financial sector

By Michael Queenan, Co-Founder and CEO of Nephos Technologies

Strong data governance in financial services is a must. These institutions hold some of the world’s most sensitive and valuable data so it is essential that it is stored and protected properly. A strong data governance strategy allows organisations to understand what data is being held, where it is stored, how to use it, and who can access it. This ensures that data is compliant to regulations, such as GDPR, and that the appropriate protection is applied to the most sensitive information.

However, a good data governance strategy can offer more than just compliance and data protection. By ensuring that the policies and standards around data governance are in place, data quality is improved, making it easy to access, utilise and trust. It can, therefore, be used to drive innovation and unlock market insights as analytics and automation can be applied to the datasets. In the highly competitive and constantly evolving financial sector, this can drive considerable competitive advantages and allow institutions to stay ahead of the latest trends.

Although the benefits are obvious, many organisations struggle to implement a successful data governance strategy. When we surveyed 900 businesses at varying stages of their data governance program rollout, less than half described their data governance programs as ‘doing ok’, whilst

46 percent admitted that they don’t have the skills or expertise to properly utilise the tools they have access to.

Having a dedicated team to oversee the data governance project is essential to its success. Many underestimate the time and resources required to drive value from the process and simply don’t have the team to support it. For financial institutions, which hold enormous amounts of data, this is a particularly big project. Mistakes cannot be made due to the sensitivity of the data they hold so it is important that the people and processes are in place to support the project.

Time is money

Technology is constantly evolving and innovating to make processes easier and more efficient across a number of industries. In recent years, managed services have transformed how we work – no longer do internal teams have to be burdened by time-consuming tasks that they have limited expertise in.

The emergence of Data Governance-as-a-Service (DGaaS) is set to fill the gaps between the opportunities that data governance offers and the general lack of expertise in most organisations. Designed to take the risk away from investments, it will deliver the four key components of a strategy to ensure data governance projects succeed:

1. Discovery & classification

The first essential step of any data governance project is data discovery and classification. Quite simply, it determines exactly what data an organisation holds and where it is stored, before identifying each asset and determining the appropriate level of protection it requires. Without this detailed insight, the data assets held by an organisation are unknown and, therefore, it is impossible to protect and drive value from them.

2. Operationalise the process

DGaaS removes the requirement for internal operations or expertise in data governance, allowing organisations to instead channel resources into adding value to the business. By being involved in the initial setup, organisations can create and design the policies they wish to enforce and allow the managed service provider to deploy and manage the rest of the process.

3. Process creation and documentation

Next, the service offers integrated consultancy to help drive the organisation’s ideas and objectives through to execution. Working directly with the managed service provider, the organisation is guided through what the project entails, what people and processes are required, and which tools will ensure success.

4. Data Management

With the other steps complete, organisations can take the raw outputs and drive significant value. Tangible business outputs, such as data quality, lineage, encryption and master data management, can be utilised.

Ultimately, DGaaS ensures that organisations approach the planning, design and delivery of a data governance strategy with a focus on their core objectives, ensuring  that the driven value is directly applicable and beneficial to the business. Instead of experiencing the frustration of failed investments, data governance becomes part of the standard business toolkit, with technology acting as an enabler.

The journey to a successful data governance strategy starts here

The finance industry is notoriously slow at adopting the latest technologies. But, in today’s data-centric economy, financial institutions cannot afford to fall behind as cryptocurrency and digital banks continue to gain popularity at an unprecedented rate. A successful data governance strategy will allow such organisations to gain business insights from their data that can help drive innovation and gain a competitive advantage. DGaaS guides you across the bridge between objectives and impacts, avoids the implementation roadblocks and makes sure you reach your destination of compliance and added value.

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