December 17, 2009 – A recent research study of senior IT and data professionals in large financial services companies across the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany shows current U.S. data management and industry regulation practices are lagging behind their European counterparts.

A group of independent research companies specializing in the IT and financial services sectors – BDRC, PAC and Lodestar Research – surveyed personnel responsible for data management at large financial services companies. The research, commissioned by DataFlux, a provider of data quality and data integration solutions, helps assess where financial services companies are with data management and what business initiatives are driving their data strategies.

According to Tony Fisher, president and CEO of DataFlux, “When data is managed and governed on an enterprise-wide scale, organizations will remain in compliance as well as make better business decisions that pave the way for future success.” Under this criterion, The U.K. leads the way with 32 percent of organizations managing data at the strategic enterprise level. This compares to 25 percent in Germany, 22 percent in France and 17 percent in the U.S.

Investment in data management projects was reported to be primarily driven by compliance with industry regulations. Organizational efficiency was the second most popular reason for data investment in all markets except the U.S., where competitive advantage was considered more important.

 “One intriguing detail – both in the U.S. and Europe – is that although companies regard data as a business asset, their initial efforts have been a reaction to regulatory compliance initiatives,” said Daniel Teachey, senior director of marketing, DataFlux. “Effective data management can lead to impressive ROI through improved customer relationships and enhanced business processes, but financial services companies are still in reactive mode, especially in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis,” Teachey said. 

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