Embracing Continual Improvement in Enterprise Data Management

The regulatory pressure on financial services firms has been steadily increasing over last 7-8 years and one of the key underlying themes is the need to improve the state of Enterprise Data Management (EDM) function within the firms.
Subsequently all firms have embarked on the journey to establish or re-engineer their EDM setups with significant investments in the programs ranging from data governance stewardship to master data platforms to data quality initiatives.

Most likely your firm is also undergoing an overhaul of its EDM function but chances are its exact roadmap and progress in metrics is neither standardized nor consistently articulated nor clearly visible to all of the stakeholders.

As your firm embarks on this journey of improving the state of data management within the firm, adopting the following practices would be key to the sustained success.

  1. Adopt a Holistic Framework: It is critical to look at data management from all perspectives and not just as a master data problem or a semantic technology problem or a governance issue. Improvement requires looking at the issue from all perspectives from strategy and governance to operations and technology. EDM Council’s Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM) model or CMMI Institute’s Data Management Maturity (DMM)SM Model aim to provide one such holistic framework and includes input and validation from the industry. It divides the data management into 8 broad components each of which has critical capabilities that act as a roadmap towards achieving improvements. 

  3. Establish an Inclusive Repeatable Process: In addition to the holistic framework, it is critical to ensure this is seen as a Continual Improvement Program which can only be reinforced by establishing a periodic repeatable assessment process around such framework. Each such assessment should try to broaden the scope to include more business units, and stakeholders since true success needs buy-in and alignment of all stakeholders and not just direct members of the EDM group. 

  5. Comparable Metrics & Benchmarking: Critical piece of any Continual Improvement program is the ability to consistently measure it and use metrics to showcase progress. For an EDM program as well it is critical to use consistent and comparable metrics not only to measure progress over time but also compare the state of data management against other business units within the firm and against industry peers. 


Data Management Capabilities against benchmark

Data Management Capabilities against industry benchmark


The EDM Improvement programs are non-trivial and long term in nature given its impact on stakeholders and consumers across business unit and regional silos. Managing such programs thus needs focused tools that can help in not only implementing a measurement framework like DCAM as a repeatable and configurable process but also provides visibility into metrics and benchmarks. Pellustro is the best example of a platform focused on enabling implementation and management of Continual Improvement Frameworks within EDM. The platform also released the official  implementation of DCAM in collaboration with EDM Council.

Element22 is a boutique advisory firm focused on helping client mature their data management functions through establishing governance, data management improvement programs  in addition to the development of the assessment and benchmarking platform called Pellustro.