"Many organizations have partial risk data management programs that can leave enterprises exposed," said Bob Walley, with Deloitte's regulatory & capital markets consulting practice. "The challenge is to build and maintain an enterprise-wide risk data management program that enables executives and boards to make strategic decisions based on robust, risk-based business analytics."
Boards and executives use detailed analysis from data collected across the company for key risk management decisions in 32.7 percent of respondents' companies. Yet, 11 percent of executives described their companies' data governance programs as "non-existent."
"The good news is that boards and executives are turning to risk data management programs—including business analytics of the data—to help strategically create and protect value," said Donna Epps, co-leader of Deloitte's governance and risk management practice. "But, for most major, multi-national organizations, the process of inventorying data sources, ownership and applications can be overwhelming, particularly if program budgets have been cut."
The biggest challenges respondents reported for their risk data management programs' success included too many data sources (33.2 percent) and too few resources (28.6 percent).
"Business analytics programs are a huge undertaking for most companies," added John Lucker, leader of Deloitte's advanced analytics and modeling practice. "When companies have full understanding and endorsement from top executives and board members, programs can be extremely successful, offering not only insight into future trends, but an advantage over competitors."
Beyond leadership support, other keys to success for risk data management and analytics programs include:
- Keep the program business-driven. Because organizing and analyzing enterprise-wide data can be complex, identify a clear goal to benefit the business at the outset of the project. Decisions made throughout the program should be focused on accomplishing that one, business-driven goal.
- Tackle smaller projects within the broader program. Breaking the enterprise-wide program down into a series of smaller, shorter-term projects helps teams focus and allows for more frequent progress reporting to board members and executives.
- Build processes and procedures into major business initiatives. Sometimes the hardest part of any data management or analytics program is changing corporate culture around what data is saved, where it's saved, how it will be used and why the project is happening. When every major initiative is tied into the data program, the need for employee commitment is reinforced.
- Stay the course. The more that people and budgets are committed to the end goal, the better successes will result. While programs will have to be somewhat flexible over the course of time, making directional changes midway through a program will lengthen timelines and increase resource spend.
During a Sept. 30, 2010 Deloitte webcast, more than 900 business professionals from the financial services; technology, media and telecommunications; consumer and industrial products; and other industries responded to polling questions.