RIMES 2019 Buy-side Survey: Global Data Management Trends

You can request* a copy of the full 2019 Buy-side Survey results by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

Over 150 asset managers, servicers and owners were surveyed for the seventh edition of the RIMES Buy-side Survey, from across the financial services industry. Firms of all sizes and geographies responded to provide a comprehensive global picture as well as allowing detailed insight to be drawn across the responses.

This year’s survey focussed on the state of data management within firms. It identifies the emphasis that firms place on data management; how many staff they employ to manage data, the change in budgets and who ultimately has responsibility for data management within a firm. The survey reveals the challenges and priorities that companies are placing on data and how they plan on addressing these. The survey explains how firms manage data today and their future initiatives, providing an insight into their data management maturity.

Finally, the survey looked at the prominence of data services and data-related technologies ranging from artificial intelligence data analysis, data lakes, data visualization, as well as services such as outsourced data management. The results reveal the penetration these solutions have so far made into the financial services industry, who is using them versus who is investigating or simply uninterested.

The survey reveals some interesting trends and draws some clear distinctions between the approaches of firms. RIMES looks forward to sharing the survey with respondents and the wider  financial services community.


Over 150 respondents replied to the 2019 RIMES’ Buy-side Survey from firms worldwide. To provide an understanding on how views differentiate around the world we have grouped respondents into three geographic regions, namely Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

We also asked respondents to identify their primary type of firm and their department/business area to understand if there was a difference of opinion between wealth managers & private banks, investment managers, insurance or pension funds, and the custody & asset servicing communities.

Finally, we asked respondents to identify how large their firm was by asset under management/administration to ensure we were comparing like for like. Our results cover firms from the small (under $30bn) to the very large (over $100bn).

Key takeaways

The survey’s results show that data management continues to be an important function for investment firms who need to sate a growing appetite from clients, regulators and the wider market for more data. However, it’s not without its challenges with firms struggling to control licensing costs whilst simultaneously improving the quality of the data they receive and use. Only marginal increases in operating budgets provide a further constraint on managing data.

The variations in the size of teams and the ownership of data, especially the regional differences, suggest that data management is still a maturing function. There are similar regional variations in the approaches that firms are taking to address their data issues with numerous avenues being pursued. Centralizing operations and wider operating model changes are common approaches, but education of both internal users and clients as well as outsourcing and data provider rationalization featured heavily in responses.

Data inconsistency and the lack of data governance are cited as the two most common challenges. The adoption and use of advanced data technologies such as machine learning, data analytics and process automation are being actively pursued to address these and other issues, whereas some technologies such as blockchain and data lake solutions, formally poster technologies of data solutions, appear to have waning support.

In short data management continues to be an evolving and active discipline with a variety of approaches and technologies being pursued. Consequently, investment firms are continually on the lookout for solutions and guidance that will keep them at the forefront of this important sector.

You can request a copy of the full 2019 Buy-side Survey results by completing the below form.

* RIMES reserves the right to share results with end-users only (asset managers, servicers, owners and banks). The Survey results cannot be sent to personal email addresses.

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