Global Outlook 2024 Report


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Taming the Data Sea

Feeling awash in a sea of data? You’re not alone. Data has become ubiquitous. We collect it, store it, sort it and try to make use of it. Regulators and investors demand it. Many organisations feel overwhelmed by it. Fortunately, it is possible to tame it. 

A recent survey of asset managers globally by Northern Trust and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that, on the whole, the industry has capitalised on the explosion of available data, but some firms are benefiting significantly more than others.  In fact, only 13% of managers surveyed felt that their data strategy was entirely successful in helping meet business objectives.

Two factors seem to set apart managers who are capitalising on data vs. those who are drowning in it:

  •  A documented and flexible data strategy tied directly to business goals
  • The presence of effective and informed senior leadership to shape and implement that strategy

So how can managers create a data strategy that helps them meet their business needs? In our recently published white paper, Northern Trust draws on best practices and our experiences with clients to outline five essential questions you should answer when developing a data strategy:

  • Who’s in charge?  Success requires senior leadership with the ability to work with the entire organisation.
  • What do we want to achieve?  Data for data’s sake doesn’t work.  A strategy must be directly linked to specific, measurable business goals.
  • Which data is the right data?  Not all data is equally valuable.  Identifying which data is most important for your objectives helps you prioritise effectively.
  • What systems do we need? Business should lead systems development in consultation with IT.
  • What cultural/organisational changes are needed?  A new data strategy will change how your organisation does business. Addressing the effect on people and processes is essential to successfully implementing your plan.

To learn more about how you can build a best practice data strategy, read the full white paper or contact Serge Boccassini, Senior Vice President for Institutional Product Solutions, at +1 312 557 2863.


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