Posted by Jon Pilkington on May 11, 2016

Where the Jobs Are

Well, the bad news is that the U.S. job gains has been the smallest it’s been in seven months. In fact, the U.S. economy added just 160,000 jobs in the month of April. For those in the financial services market, it’s been particularly tough as jobs have been slashed in several areas, including trading and banking, due to decreased profitability.

I’m happy to report however, that there is some good news. For those looking for employment in the finance sector, Wall Street is looking fast and furious for those with data backgrounds. Big-name banks are adding to their rosters those with data skill sets, including Deutsche Bank who tapped Sam Wisnia as head of strategy and analytics in 2015 and JP Rangaswami as chief data officer earlier this year. Goldman Sachs has also made a commitment to becoming more data-driven by investing in big data analytics firm Kensho last year.

The Field Today

It’s an interesting time to be working in finance – particularly in investment management. In the eight years since the financial crisis of 2008 was felt around the world, a number of regulations have been enacted in an effort to mitigate risk. While market volatility remains, and there is still a focus on risk management, cost reduction and reporting, there’s also a growing emphasis on core investment activities. For organizations to remain competitive, they must do more with big data. The problem is, they aren’t.

According to Boston Consulting Group, most banks are far from realizing big data’s full potential. Financial systems in particular are lacking in progress due to competing priorities such as addressing regulatory changes, IT complexity and an overall lack of vision. In turn, improvements in current practices, transforming core banking processes, boosting IT performance and creating new revenue streams are all areas that see delayed progress as a result.

Difficulties with Data

Backing up the claims from Boston Consulting Group are the findings from a recently published survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Northern Trust. The survey revealed that only 85% of organizations were capturing value from data only fairly or somewhat well. In addition, the following were listed by the more than 200 surveyed asset managers as their top difficulties faced in getting and sharing data:

  • Data requires significant processing or scrubbing, 36%
  • Data is presented in non-compatible formats, 29%
  • There is so much data, it’s not possible to find what’s useful, 28%
  • Data requires user interfaces that are hard to understand, 21%
  • Data is incorrect, 20%

What’s a Financier to Do?

Whether in commercial banking, capital markets, asset management, or insurance, many believe established best practices will help them capture the full value from their data. However, those in the financial services sector could also benefit from a self-service data prep tool that allows them to help detect fraud, manage risk and leverage emerging opportunities. Datawatch Monarch allows those working in finance to easily work with their data with a high level of confidence. It not only increases the credibility and efficiency of use of information throughout an organization, it streamlines business processes and improves operational productivity.

Interested in learning more? Check out how The Fauquier Bank was able to realize the full value of their data in this case study.

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