Ok, data: it’s couch to 5K time

As promised in the first blog on the topic, we’re taking a look at achievable New Year’s resolutions that are within reach, whether you’re a Chief Data Officer overseeing broad strategy or a subject matter expert using data day-to-day, regulations (GDPR Compliance anyone?) are looming.

This part takes “I need to exercise more” and turns it into “I need my data ready to deliver business improvements by the summer.”

Summer’s always used as a target until we get there and find we’re still sitting on the couch watching The Crown and the biscuits are either all gone or very soon will be.

In banking, there’s nothing more refreshing than finding out that someone else is responsible for something, and it’s the same when trying to coax yourself into new health habits. Making someone else responsible for your fitness is one way of saying “speak to a personal trainer”; good personal trainers (PTs) are usually an excellent way of understanding what needs to be targeted and how to achieve it because they possess the experience of having done it all before, even with certified biscuit addicts.

Typically you might weigh up a PT based on reputation or skillset, or whatever’s available through a company plan. Taking time to get the right one is time well spent; likewise, a bank’s data needs specific qualities to ensure it can react to looming regulations (GDPR compliance, anyone?) and pressures from teams demanding faster customer acquisition and better customer retention.

Whilst it’s far broader than data quality, it’s fair to say that one thing GDPR compliance will be helped significantly by a robust understanding of the bank’s Single Customer View. This relies on data on core systems, so running health-checks aligned to the Enterprise Data Management Council’s DCAM standard for completeness, accuracy, timeliness and so forth will provide deltas and data requiring remediation to meet quality levels.

These might already in place at an enterprise level, but what if the evidence of your eyes – mailing files with outdated or incomplete addresses, or mismatched customer information – proves that not all cases are being caught? This is where a targeted, tactical strike can pay dividends: if you consider the investment in a personal trainer to tell you what needs to be done and when, so a niche set of insights into a specific dataset can yield specific actions to be taken. At its best it can augment any existing plan – for example, you might play sport once a week already, so add in a few days at the gym and there’s no need to displace your existing activity.

So it is with data quality solutions: sometimes it can prove beneficial to find something that will give a fast sense-check into the evidence of your own eyes, to enable better downstream decision-making. Ultimately, it’s the bank’s customers who will benefit, and this approach to doing what’s within reach will deliver tangible and timely improvements when it comes to compliance with bigger regulations.

Next time, we’ll take a look at Resolution Two on our list, and it’s all about losing weight; but remember, this is about data, so…now, where did I put those biscuits?

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