Companies that want to engage in enterprise data management in an effective manner need to take certain key steps to make sure they can achieve this objective, Hylton Socher, chief technology officer of global investment manager Fortress Investment Group LLC, stated during a recent industry event.
During his keynote speech, Socher noted that there are many different benefits that can be derived as a result of utilizing such methods in the right way, including heightened visibility into key sources of risk. The technical expert stated that if these technologies are harnessed in the right way, they could be used to generate custom reports and also automate various business processes.
Overcoming Staff Resistance
Experts in the field have noted the importance of employees using such resources. If staff members are resistant to implementing a technological solution, their grievances can show up in a variety of ways, such as not putting their full effort into using a software application, or harnessing it in a manner that is not very efficient.
Another key variable that must be taken into consideration is that many people are resistant to change. If the employees of a company are accustomed to doing things in one way, forcing them to switch up their workflow can generate resentment.
In addition to these potential pitfalls, resistance to using new software can show up in the quality of data that is put into such systems. InformationWeek reported that one of the basic tenets of enterprise data management is ensuring that the information harnessed in such applications is not inaccurate or of a low quality.
Once the employees who will use the new solution are willing to do so, Socher stated that the next step is to enable shared services by establishing straight-through processing between separate verticals in a firm. Certain challenges will exist when using this method, including the issue of being able to accumulate the data at some level higher than the different departments of a company. In addition, this form of processing results in duplicate data residing in many different areas.
Establishing Data Warehouses
The market expert stated that once this step is complete, firms should work their individual business lines and build structures to hold their data resources. It is important to note that there are many different ways to set up data warehouses, according to InformationWeek. There are countless approaches, and these resources, which are designed to contain key information, are frequently built up in a gradual manner.
Socher provided some rather specific insight into how Fortress Investments established its data warehouse/
"At this point, we decouple the reporting function in each business line from the different applications and processes," he stated. "What we attempt to do here is build a loosely coupled but highly aligned architecture where the reporting is done from a centralized framework. This involves the creation of line-centric data models that encompass the dimensionality of the reporting needs by each business. Once we have this, we have ad hoc querying capability, and we've put the power to report in the hands of the business users. We have the ability to automate line-level regulatory compliance response, and we've essentially increased the business intelligence, but at the line level."
While this technical expert provided significant information on how his data warehouse was established, an industry news source reported that these structures can be built using a process that is more akin to trial and error, which can be potentially difficult and time-consuming, yet can also yield strong results.
After this step of setting up key resources for holding data is completed, Socher outlined a few additional actions he took, like identifying common sources that are harnessed by various business lines.
Socher stated that reference data should be established for these common services - such as regulatory reporting, reconciliation, customer relationship management systems, investor services and compliance - so that this information can be used to create technical infrastructure from an enterprise-wide level. The final step he noted is harnessing all the aforementioned information to create a data model that is designed for the entire enterprise.
Approaching the creation of an enterprise data management system in this way will hopefully deliver numerous benefits.
-Alessandro Ferrari is head of global marketing outreach at RIMES, a provider of managed data services and cloud-based technologies to investment managers, pensions fund managers and other asset owners globally.