Return On Data Investment: Thoughts From the Banks of Data Rivers

As a newly minted chief data officer at a financial institution, you recognize that rivers and rivers of data flow through your organization, and that ultimately these rivers end their journeys in the balance sheet. You know that governing these data rivers matters a great deal. But, utter the words “data governance,” and you may be met with quizzical looks and some eye-rolling from your audience.

Since data governance is a continuous improvement process concept, it is easily lost on an audience from a non-manufacturing industry, or simply treated with skeptical disinterest.

Yet, as data rivers flow through to the balance sheet, you know that one of your most pressing data-management challenges is to enable the accurate interconnecting of regulatory and risk reporting for your financial institution. In a multi business-line financial institution (FI), you must facilitate the confluence of data rivers across a constantly changing, disparate corporate landscape.

What, then, are some techniques you can use to get the point across to the skeptical or disinterested that data rivers matter, and that data governance is mission critical?

While we cannot promise that you won’t still provoke an occasional eye-roll from uttering “data governance,” we think that the ideas and techniques discussed in this paper will help you to engage the people holding the purse strings without having to say those words; thereby enabling you and your financial institution to achieve both short- and long-term objectives.