What do the principles require?
In many ways, BCBS 239 principles require application of ‘good practice’ data governance to ensure all the right data gets to decision-makers. The principles can apply to any organisation that depends on accurate reports for decision-making (are there any that don’t?). If applied, a bank should have better, faster decision-making.
With a 3 year deadline set in 2013 to implement BCBS 239, how are things looking now?
2 steps forward, 1 step back
According to the latest progress report (April 2020), “ In general, banks require more time to ensure that the Principles are effectively implemented.” So why is it taking so long? Why are banks with (supposedly) limitless resources not succeeding - and what can be learnt from their mistakes?
What is taking most of the time?
Perhaps surprisingly, over half the resources of a typical BCBS 239 project are taken up by determining and documenting data flows as data lineage. This is a critical part of the process – after all, if a bank can’t describe what data flows where, or document all of the sources of data used in a regulatory report, a regulator will not be satisfied. Seeing data in context is essential for a full high-level view.
The worst scenario for a bank is to spend vast quantities of money on a manual data lineage exercise, only for results to be discarded because they do not link together with other metadata and have gone stale. This is ‘dead’ data lineage.
The ideal scenario is for system owners to publish updated lineage information when it changes, and for that to be merged in and change-managed with all other metadata (like data catalog, data quality metrics, etc). This is ‘live’ data lineage.
Most banks are between these two extremities, able to extract lineage and metadata programmatically in some cases, and needing to merge this with data curated by system owners and subject matter experts. It is imperative to make this process as efficient as possible.
What takes up the rest of the time? Implementing data quality controls is the next largest resource demand. To fully benefit from data quality controls, issues in data need to be reflected in quality metrics of datasets – and consumers of affected data (not just immediate – all downstream consumers) need to be aware. With many quality assessment implementations for different architectures possible, the main aim for BCBS 239 should be to capture quality metrics for datasets, visualise data quality in context, and maintain it along with other metadata.
Data dictionaries and catalogs - Data dictionaries/glossaries/catalogs – providing business meaning for data and identifying critical data elements – is next for resources. Materiality (or impact of getting it wrong) of data can be used to prioritise governance. Data glossaries play a crucial role in completeness of reporting – classifying all relevant data for a report across multiple systems. Integrated with lineage flows and quality metrics, they help to ensure all data for a report is present with correct quality.
Harsh lessons in sustainable governance
The main mistake is to have a short-term view: ramp up a big push, hire some consultants to collect data and ‘get across the line’, without thinking of the bigger picture and a sustainable process. This approach ends up with wasted effort and the need to do it all again – properly this time.
To focus on the longer term, think about what you want to be able to do when you have all this regulation-required information. You want to see quality issues along the flows for data to your regulatory reports, and anywhere else. You want to find all the creditor data in your systems and make sure it is being reported. You want to help your team find the data they need to run new initiatives. You want to do ‘what-if’ experiments to see what would change if systems move to the cloud.
There are 2 key aspects to get right:
• A sustainable process to collect up-to-date metadata
• An integrated metadata platform
A sustainable process requires federating subject matter and system owners work across the organisation, and to automate where possible. Consider how business as usual will look.
Users need to easily apply their subject matter expertise and carry out manual tasks quickly and consistently, with intelligent suggestions for lineage and relationships from machine learning.
Connectors and open APIs, and integrations through expert partners, should be used to extract and load metadata and keep it up-to-date – including properties like dataset quality metrics.
An integrated platform for metadata treats metadata as a first-class asset, with all the change control and ownership that implies. The underlying architecture needs to be simple and adaptable, without artificial constraints. It needs to include lineage, quality metrics, glossaries, high level views, search, queries and reports – seamlessly.
Without integration, organisations face a synchronisation and maintenance nightmare and inability to see the end-to-end view.
Solidatus is designed by people who have been there and done it, and see the full picture. Why not use the regulatory imperative to deliver an asset of growing value to the whole organisation, where business leaders and regulators can see the full data picture?
As Singapore and now Malaysia gear up towards their digital banking futures, I wanted to look at the opportunities that digital banks have as they look to avoid the millstones their competition must face. Equally, I wanted to show the challenges and opportunities available to incumbents as they look to create their digital banks or look to evolve their transformation to avoid losing competitive advantage. With close to twenty years' experience in finance, I have seen first-hand the explosion in the numbers of systems used and also the challenges of implementing new systems and updates to existing ones. These problems are the norm not the exception. The good news is that there is a solution, one that offers efficiency of resource, improves transparency and governance.
We're proud to announce that Solidatus has once again been shortlisted for three awards in the A-Team Data Management Insight Awards 2019 alongside some of the largest and best known companies in the field:
NEW YORK and LONDON - September 26, 2019 - EDM Council, the cross-industry trade association for data management, has partnered with Solidatus, the leading data lineage and business relationship modeling solution, to provide EDM Council members with a DCAM® (Data Management Capability Assessment Model) Knowledge Modeling tool. The models enable chief data officers and their organisations to more effectively manage their data supply chain and conform with regulatory, data privacy and other business process requirements. Consequently, this enables companies to deliver their data management capability road-map while accelerating value delivery from their data assets.
Welcome to the second in our mini-series ‘Who cares?’, where we are exploring the key stakeholders and business functions who should be putting data lineage at the forefront of their strategy.