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Regional banks need better data governance: Meta Byte

Firm highlights challenges faced by financial sector

Salil Dighe, CEO of Meta Byte Technologies.
Salil Dighe, CEO of Meta Byte Technologies.

Management and technology consulting firm, Meta Byte Technologies has listed potential challenges with traditional data governance strategies in the banking sector.

The company, which is based in Dubai, said there is an urgent growing need for data governance in banks in the region and that banks today face a challenge in terms of organisational and regulatory changes.

"Banks in the region have started realising that the overwhelming amounts of data they are accumulating is unstructured in nature and has no insights in terms of where and who can access what," explains Salil Dighe, CEO of Meta Byte Technologies.

"In order to gain these insights, the data needs to be transformed into an information process that is comprehensive, consistent, correct and current. This challenge can very well be addressed through deployment of a data governance programme that can allow banks to treat its data as a corporate asset by enforcing consistent definitions, rules, policies and procedures."

According to Meta Byte Technologies, the most prominent governance goal for banks is the availability of reliable and accurate data for risk aggregation and reporting, including data accountability and traceability. It also found that although IT enables and reviews rules of data governance it is struggling to keep up with these processes manually. In addition, banks are realising that data governance should not be an IT initiative.

In order for a data governance programme to be successful and sustainable, the mandate must come from the business, providing direction and steering the initiative, with IT objectives driving the plan for successful execution. IT then needs to have innovative approaches on how to reduce its own overhead and not be overwhelmed with business and helpdesk requests.

The company identified that the worst practices and pitfalls banks need to avoid are just paying for consultation services and adding employees to a governance committee. The firm advised that this is not enough and banks need to do more by creating data definitions, business rules and KPIs to be used in their business processes. Entitlements and compliance should then be reviewed, with updates to these as and when the business needs change.

"It is helpful to visualise the data governance structure as a comprehensive framework that rests on four pillars: the collection, management, protection, and delivery of critical data," said Dighe. "These four components will form the foundation for an effective data governance model for banks to reduce operational risk and costs, and improve controls and compliance, along with the ability to leverage data as a true critical asset and deliver real business value."