EY Wealth & Asset Management viewpoint

Joined-up data: a Board imperative

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In this Viewpoint, we consider what asset managers can do to achieve the elusive goal of becoming truly ‘data-driven enterprises’. Joined-up data - the ability to effectively link all data sets in an organization - is increasingly vital to a range of Board-level objectives. We believe a holistic data strategy, underpinned by an operating model and extensible technology architecture that deliver joined- up data as a service, is the ideal approach to take. Extensible architecture can deliver a wide range of lasting benefits at similar or lower costs than many asset managers are already incurring. However, we see Board support and commitment as vital to realizing the value of joined- up data.

In our view, an extensible technology architecture that sits above existing systems offers many asset managers an ideal way to improve the value of their data while reducing disruption and cost. However, we could not conclude this Viewpoint without stressing that clear central leadership is critical to achieving the full benefits of a holistic data strategy.

Vision, drive and support at Board and C-suite level are essential to achieving buyin from all functions and business units, and to confirming that the approach is implemented fully and successfully. This includes creating an information management framework for the whole organization covering data governance, quality, usage, management and architecture. Otherwise, weak links in the chain will develop and firms will struggle to extract full value from their investments. Board-level commitment is also vital to fostering a culture which recognizes the value of data management and prioritizes accordingly.

In short, joined-up data is not a concern for one function or department. It needs to be identified as a Board-level priority. Executive teams can then set a holistic data strategy supported by an extensible technology architecture which realizes the value of a truly data-driven enterprise.