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Why Assets Require Maintenance: A Case for Proactive Data Monitoring

Alex Olson
6/29/17 10:50 AM

Many of us are homeowners.  We can easily remember the first house we purchased and the day we "closed" on it - all the paperwork that we signed, the new debt that we now have, etc. data_monitoring.jpgMost of us treated that house as one of the most important physical assets that we have because we spent more money on it than any prior purchase. We painted rooms, cleaned the carpets, and ensured that the appliances were in working order.  For a moment, think if you would have taken a different approach - done nothing.  At first you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but over time the walls would reveal where the paint chipped away, the carpet would show dark spots in certain areas, the doorbell would stop working, and the garage would smell like old garbage - you get the picture. This same decay can happen with your data, if not properly maintained. 

Over the past decade, more attention has been given to "getting your data right" than in the previous 50 years combined. Industries have spent billions of dollars to get the right technology in place and to do data remediation projects. These projects, when successful, can create a firm foundation for organizations to run their business. Yet, we see 1-2% degradation of customer data each month - why?

A core challenge is the hand-off between the "project" and the "operation".  The project team works 60+ hours per week, and they achieve the goal - the technology is deployed, the data is remediated, regulatory reports filed. The project team is disbanded, and the business operations team takes over. This situation is similar to buying a house. We celebrate the closing and move in. Unlike a house where the same people who buy the house live in the house, the people who are responsible for operations are different from the people who are responsible for the project. The operations team usually has different priorities (like operational cost reduction) and lacks the tools to maintain the data. Thus, the data is "fixed once" but then left to degrade.

The Solution

We advise you treat your data as an asset that is maintained, similar to how you would treat your house. Take the legal entity and hierarchy data domain, for example. We recommend receiving legal entity actions of mergers, acquisitions, name and address changes, and other changes every day on the customers, counterparties, and prospects that you have. Fortunately, these tools exist, and they can be seamlessly integrated into your existing technology solutions. Similar to cleaning your carpet, touching up paint, and taking out the garbage, these tools keep your data from degrading. The benefits are clear.

  • Better data faster - As you receive daily updates, you are ahead of the curve. Periodic updates disadvantage the decision-making process. These infrequent updates force you to make decisions, file regulatory reports, and pursue business based on a false set of assumptions. By having daily updates, you have what you need to make the right decisions at the right time.
  • Expense planning is improved - By keeping the data updated on a proactive basis, the maintenance cost can be planned and is much less than large periodic clean-ups.
  • Quality is operationalized instead of disruption based - A continued stream of data updates can be managed well by being placed into existing workflows and using a simple extension of an existing job. Conversely, large periodic clean-ups require a team to be created, management to be involved, and individual's schedules to be impacted.

At Kingland, we believe it's unnecessary to continue to remediate parts of your house (data). The tools to proactively monitor your data and make better business decisions are available.

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