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Embedding Data Governance in All Levels of State Street’s Business: Dan Power

Dan Power, MD, Data Governance, Global Markets at State Street, shares how the data governance board and other coordinating bodies are institutionalizing better practices across the company

When State Street began its data and analytics journey, some of the changes being made in the name of data governance raised eyebrows. Some felt the proposed changes were bureaucratic and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be better if they just focused on driving revenue?

Over the past four years, that has changed gradually. The crucial role that data governance plays in supporting revenue generation is acknowledged across State Street, and the financial services giant is working to establish groups and processes that embed good data governance into its DNA.

Ahead of his appearance at Corinium’s 2021 CDAO Fall summit, we speak with Dan Power, State Street’s MD, Data Governance in its Global Markets business unit to hear how the company is putting a key “missing piece” in the company’s data governance ecosystem into place.

“At State Street, we have a federated approach,” Power says. “Each business unit and the larger corporate functions are responsible for data governance.

“But they also report to a centralized enterprise data governance and management group, which we call EDGM: Enterprise Data Governance and Management. That group is headed up by our Deputy CDO, John Looney. He sets policy [and] works with the regulators and that centralized group to drive data management and data governance.

“The individual business units and corporate functions are where the rubber meets the road. And that’s what I do. I head up the data governance team for one of those business units.”

Mapping Data Lineage and Controls for Key Reports

For much of 2020, Power’s priorities were helping to automate manual data governance processes and keeping track of ‘key reports’ used by regulators or State Street’s senior management.

“Those are treated with a special level of governance in terms of the reports themselves,” he says. “We trace the lineage back to the source. The data elements used on those reports or anything that contributes to them is treated as a critical data element.”

As well as mapping lineage of these critical data elements, Power and his team are also documenting the data quality controls that are in place for this data.

“Now we know how the data gets from point A to point Z,” Power explains. “We need to tell you about all the data quality controls that are in place. So, how does that data get cleansed, enriched or transformed as it flows across the firm?”

“We have about 160 different source systems in my business unit alone,” he continues. “We have about 2,000-3,000 in total.

“Once you see that flow, it’s like a water filtration system. You are digging the water up out of the ground, transporting it, hopefully treating it somewhere along the line to make sure it’s fit for human consumption. And then you deliver it to your downstream users.”

These initiatives have improved the reliability of the data going into State Street’s key reports. But Power feels organizational change is needed to ensure data governance standards are applied consistently across the company; and this has been a key priority for the firm in 2021.

Creating a Data Governance Coordinating Body

Embedding data governance processes throughout a large organization requires cultural change at all levels of the business. Power is keenly aware of this. He says the company has created several entities designed to ensure staff across the enterprise are all pulling in the same direction.

“We try to find ways to appeal to the different stakeholders at different levels,” Power says. “The top three people, which would be the CEO, the COO and the CIO, they completely understand what we’re trying to do. For the next level down, which are the EVPs and the SVPs, it helps to explain it to them in the language they use.”

“So, that’s where we talk about the data governance board, which is made up of those people,” he continues. “The data governance board is intended to pull them all together into one enterprise-wide forum. They manage priorities. They decide on budgets. They sequence deliverables. They judge risk; that type of thing.”

However, Power has observed that edicts from the data governance board don’t always filter down to the data governance professionals and data stewards who are embedded in the businesses across Global Markets.

To address this challenge, Power is creating a new data governance ‘coordinating body’ for Global Markets, to act as a bridge between the unit’s domain experts and the executive data governance board.

“The missing piece right now, across Global Markets, is having the data governance or data coordinating body,” he says. “One of my major goals for 2021 is to get that in place across Global Markets.”

He concludes: “That will give us a way to communicate one cohesive message from the CEO down to the data governance board, down to the coordinating body for Global Markets, down to the individual businesses and their people. Implementing that will close a major gap for us in Global Markets.”


Dan Power will speak at Corinium’s 2021 CDAO Fall summit. Click here for more information or click here to reserve your place.