Financial Services in Focus – The State of Play for CDOs in the Finance World

Following the success of last year’s Chief Data Officer, Financial Services in New York City, Corinium is proud to announce a further 2 summits dedicated to CDOs, CAOs and senior data leaders in the Financial Services for 2017. On March 28, in New York City, over 100 data and analytics leaders will come together to discuss the latest innovations and challenges facing the industry. Moreover, based on popular demand, we will be launching our inaugural Chief Data Officer Financial Services, West on April 26 in San Francisco – the premier gathering of the West Coast’s leading data minds. But, what will we be discussing at the event? How has the conversation evolved in the past year? In other words, what is the current state of play for FS data leaders?


Regulation – are we nearly there yet?


The logical place to start assessing where we are in the current CDO journey within finance, is looking at where that journey began. Undoubtedly, the heavy regulatory burden within the industry, and the need for reporting and compliance to be accurate following the 2008 crash, was the original driver of the CDO role in FS, and likely a large part of why the finance industry was one of the primary early adopters of the emerging CDO role.

Under the CDOs stewardship, things have advanced in this area. It may seem that regulations are constantly changing and morphing, meaning that the work to keep up will never be done – and this is partly true – however, the groundwork that most CDOs have now laid makes complying with current (and future) regulations easier, and ensures greater accuracy and so reducing regulatory risk. So is regulation still an important topic of conversation for CDOs? Yes. Whilst much has been achieved, work to minimize the burden of compliance, and maintain the good standards which have (for the most part) been achieved, must go on. Indeed, at Chief Data Officer, Financial Services, the conversations will do so, lead by CDOs and data leaders at Credit Suisse, Bank of China, and Standard Chartered Bank.


Strong Foundations? Getting to grips with Governance


Of course, the work underpinning the success on the regulatory side, has been to ensure that financial service institution’s data is of high quality, and easy to use. This has been achieved by placing emphasis on data governance, and ensuring robust practises to correct manage data. There are still challenges in this area, such as how do you sustain good governance beyond initial implementation (Joan Dal Bianco, SVP & Head of US Office of the Chief Data Officer, at TD who be sharing more on this at the event), as well as how to engage the non-technical users in governance activities (which Joan will discuss with other CDOs on UBS, Bank of China USA, and the International Monetary Fund). These challenges will need to be addressed in the long term, in order to maintain the ground gained by CDOs.


Value is Vital


So, given the improvements in data governance and the resulting  successes in the regulatory area, it could be argued the original driver which led to the adoption of the CDO role has been addressed to a satisfactory extent. This could leave CDOs trying to justify the continued investment in their organizations data program, and in the worse case, their own positions.

This leads us to the biggest challenge facing CDOs right now, and what I believe will biggest point of conversation at the upcoming conference – how to deliver real business value through data.

Good governance alone won’t deliver new benefits for your company, beyond simplifying compliance and reducing regulatory risk. We are in the midst of the ‘data revolution’  and distribution through data is happening in almost all industries, with effects already being felt in the finance world, and the potential for much more to come. Therefore, the expectations of the value data can deliver your organization is huge. This should be seen as a positive, as it gives data leaders a great opportunity. However, it is of vital important that CDOs begin to deliver value, rather than just talk about it.

This is already starting to happen in some companies, but it is a big challenges to even decide how your data can deliver value to your organization (Improved forecasts? Cost control and revenue optimization? Outstanding customer experience? Empowering marketing? Data-driven product innovation? New business models? Direct monetization?), let alone to deliver, and demonstrate this value.

Whilst it is challenging, this value is vital. Without it, data may be seen as a cost centre, rather than being seen as a corporate asset. For this reason, I am sure that ‘Value’ will be the big conversation piece at this year’s event – Amongst other sessions, it’s even the focus of the opening keynote presentation, where Gary Barr (Chief Data Officer, HSBC Global Banking and Markets) will be sharing how he pursues ‘offensive’ measures and demonstrates the value of data at HSBC. So make sure that your data program is both valuable, and valued, and join the discussion at this year’s key events – Chief Data Officer, Financial Services and Chief Data Officer Financial Services, West


By James Bowater: 

James Bowater is Content Director, Americas for Corinium. James’ focus is delivering content and events for Chief Data Officers. By consulting senior data leaders, he facilitates industry discussion and debate to address the biggest challenges and opportunities currently faced in the data world. James is currently producing events for CDOs in the financial services and insurance industries. The events take place March 28 & 29 in New York City. For enquiries email: [email protected]


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