Think of your data as a core business asset

Today, finance companies receive significant amounts of data from providers like Bloomberg and FactSet. However, companies often find that there is a lack of consistency in the information. Investment bankers and asset managers need index data for benchmarking, forecasting market scenarios and a host of other reasons, yet they often find themselves scrubbing data or manipulating datasets in various ways to suit their needs. While Western Europe has moved to implement stricter data governance policies, North America still relies on best practices. As such, the lack of industry standards is witnessed across firms and regulators.

New technology makes data governance better
At its data governance conference in New York this month, RIMES, a provider of managed data services, explained how new technologies can help. Firstly, data must be viewed as a core business asset. Giving data its due consideration, there are number areas to focus on. Instead of receiving data from multiple sources, finance firms should consolidate those streams with one provider – thereby lessening costs. Additionally, data management companies, like RIMES, provide companies with tailored data feeds based on their requirements. Investment professionals can spend less time scrubbing and reconciling data and more time on value-added activities if they received ready-to-use datasets. By leveraging RIMES technology, organizations will enjoy high quality, consistent information through controlled distribution. Gartner predicted that this would eventually become a necessity for financial institutions – not an option.

“By 2015, conflicting regulatory, cloud, information, mobility and social networking demands will force hybrid IT and data strategy adoption by large banks,” Gartner said in a 2013 report.

RIMES suggested that data quality should be measured by the degree to which it is usable for its intended purpose. Accordingly, companies should ask themselves: Is our current data management strategy working for us in the best possible way? If the answer is “No,” consider these three actionable items:

  1. Standardize, centralize and control data from one location
  2. Embrace heterogeneity as the way to receive your data
  3. Focus on data governance, with emphasis on opening, not limiting access

Clients are satisfied with managed data services
Among RIMES Managed Data Services’ customers are a privately held asset management firm with over 2,000 employees, an independent investment management company with assets under management over $650 billion, a privately owned investment manager that manages equity and fixed income mutual funds and a global investment firm with $740 billion in AUM.

RIMES helps these companies improve data quality and increase efficiency. By eliminating the need for data validation and data scrubbing, through maintaining one source for benchmark information, investment managers are able to mitigate data risks and avoid wasting valuable time.

“We are now able to do things very quickly, very streamlined. It added time-to-value. RIMES took away the noise,” one customer noted.

Another company, receiving index and constituent-level data for equity and fixed income, as well as custom-blends from RIMES, referred to the service agreement as a partnership.

“The most valuable feature of working with RIMES is the client support and efficiency. They are a strong partner. They broker a lot of conversations with the vendors, and they are adamant to partner with us on our needs,” said another client partner.

Qualitative benefits from working with RIMES
Relying on managed data services, companies will see improved productivity through increased operational efficiency. They will also generate significant IT savings as a result of better data feed maintenance and reduced third-party legacy vendor fees. Additionally, RIMES ensures improved data quality and better data consistency for compliance and risk governance purposes. These benefits ultimately allow companies to increase their ability to respond to client requests.

As previously mentioned, in North America, regulators have not yet fully addressed the data governance problem – a lack of standardization. As such, companies should stay ahead of the game and enlist the help of experienced service providers. RIMES suggests you do this now, so that you are well-prepared when new data regulations hit the ground.

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