The head of enterprise data management at a large financial institution recently expressed frustration at his existing reference data infrastructure behaving like a jail for the firm’s data.
An intriguing analogy to be sure.
Unfortunately, it’s also an accurate description of the experience many financial services firms have when working with their data.
Why can’t I easily interact, view, measure and monitor my reference data resources as I need to? In what other area of a bank’s operation would a valuable, expensive commodity, useful to the business in all aspects of the operation, be so difficult to consume?
This puzzle led us to try to understand and formulate the characteristics of a “data jail.” First, the nature of performance, both from an operational perspective and responsiveness to change, is a key complaint from firms that have the characteristics of a data jail in their reference data management infrastructure. To expand on that beginning, we came up with a short survey to help firms understand if they, in fact, have a data jail:
- Are you in danger of missing your batch window loading bulk data during daily operations, with some reset batches even running more than 24 hours?
- Is your budget being consumed by ever-expanding new hardware, storage, power and data center costs?
- Are you missing key project delivery dates and blowing development budgets by spending your time tuning databases, networks and software to get tolerable performance?
- Is query time for data painfully slow according to your downstream consumers?
- Do performance problems cause consumers to go or want to go directly to the data vendor?
- Is the time taken to on-board a new data feeds measured in months rather than days?
- Is it difficult and unintuitive to query and extract data from any vendor across any asset class through your service in a format of your choice?
- Does it feel impossible to plan around escalating data volumes and business demands for more and more feeds?
- Is it painfully hard to provide that single extra field to the Equities Group who need that data element yesterday but must go into the development queue?