Leadership Forum: Digital Transformation is Underway
Senior leaders from TD Bank, IBM, GE Healthcare and Scotiabank describe how they are embracing — and enabling — digital transformation.
Senior leaders from TD Bank Group, IBM, GE Healthcare and Scotiabank describe how they are embracing — and enabling — digital transformation.
INMOST OF TODAY’S ORGANIZATIONS, data underpins every transaction, operation and interaction. And yet, the ability to extract its value and convert it into actionable business insights remains elusive to many. Based on our experience, the management, care, protection — in short, the governance of data — forms the foundation that enables powerful data-driven insights to emerge.
Data governance addresses some fundamental questions: Where is our information? What data is critical? How can we get at it when we need it, in the form we need it in? Can we trust it? And, How do we manage it?
Four years ago, the emerging consensus within TD Bank Group was that more could be done to meet growing expectations to use data to add value to the customer experience. To gain a deeper understanding of the challenge, TD conducted interviews with over 200 of its senior leaders. Among the themes that emerged: Data was being managed primarily at the business level; from an enterprise perspective, the ability to trace the flow of data and identify data sources could be enhanced; and analytics and reporting were siloed, with capabilities dispersed between several teams and systems, resulting in inefficiencies.
Senior executives agreed that the business implications of these challenges — along with the ever-growing amount of data TD was collecting — warranted a complete data transformation program.
TD was the first of Canada’s big-five banks to appoint a Chief Data Officer (CDO) in 2013. The CDO [one of the authors] is a member of the senior management team, helping to ensure that the bank’s data strategy is aligned with business priorities and that the data implications of those priorities are taken into consideration. Upon joining TD, the CDO established an Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO) in Toronto and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The first tasks were to develop an Enterprise Data Strategy, establish data stewardship roles within the individual lines of business, and pilot Data-issue-and-change and Data-Quality-management processes.
TD also engaged senior executives from each line of business as ‘Data Sponsors’, to ensure line-of-business data strategies were aligned with the enterprise strategy. Each executive Data Sponsor is responsible for providing funding, driving data governance and quality and appointing ‘stewards’. The bank now has over 300 Data Stewards, who report to the line-of-business Data Sponsor and are responsible for executing on the data strategy. Already, projects that engage Data Stewards have realized better outcomes.
One of the key lessons learned during TD’S data transformation journey to date has been the need to have simple processes in place to ensure widespread adoption of a data strategy. For example, the original data quality process document was 141 pages long and included 46 steps. Feedback was that it needed to be streamlined. To address this, TD engaged IBM to conduct a fullday workshop with its Data Stewards to help simplify the data-quality processes and enable the adoption of data quality tools. This resulted in the data quality process being reduced from 46 to 17 steps.
In general, TD has taken a test-and-learn approach to data governance, piloting everything with the Data Steward community and then adapting processes based on real experiences. It also conducts partnership surveys to get feedback on the overall effectiveness of its data governance program and to determine if Data Stewards have the resources and support required to execute the strategy. The bank chose to build its own Data Issue & Change Governance tool — an enterprise-wide repository of all data issues and proposed data changes. This tool gives the CDO visibility across the organization and enables her to look for patterns in issues that arise, which — if solved once — can benefit other parts of the organization.
For other aspects of its program, TD chose a licensed-solution approach, implementing IBM’S Infosphere Information Governance Catalog and Infosphere Information Analyzer. The former is a data quality profiling and analyzing solution that helps to derive more meaning from enterprise data, reduces the risk of proliferating incorrect information, facilitates the delivery of trusted content, and helps to lower data integration costs; while the latter is a metadata business glossary and data lineage solution that encourages a standardized approach to discovering data assets.
Today, TD continues on its quest to build enterprise-data capabilities. Rolling out Metadata Management and Data Quality tools across the organization remains an immediate priority. In addition, TD is developing a job model, career path and certification program for its Data Stewards.
Success factors identified for the program include line-of-business support that has a clear understanding of the value of enterprise-level data governance policies and standards; the use of automation and technology to facilitate data quality, traceability, monitoring and accountability; and a funding model that supports foundational investments for enterprise-wide solutions as well as longer-term goals. Above all else, TD’S investment in its people — through both the Data Steward community and the OCDO team itself — has been critical to the success of its data-governance journey.
The views expressed here are the authors’ own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM or TD. The information in this article is based on the authors’ understanding at the time of writing.
Connie Bonello Associate Partner, Financial Services, IBM Canada
Glenda Crisp Senior Vice President and Chief Data Officer, TD Bank Group