With change being such a big topic in the financial service sector at the moment, I sat down with Certus Data Warehousing expert, James Hartwright, to talk about how Data Vault deals with change and how that is different from traditional Enterprise Data Management solutions.
How does Data Vault help financial service organisations deal with changing regulations and standards?
That is a really important question. In the current environment, financial service organisations are dealing with change all the time. In particular, regulatory standards are being updated frequently, and organisations need to respond to that.
Luckily, regulators usually give organisations a fair amount of time to adapt before updated standards are being enforced. However, regardless of how much time you have, for many organisations with traditional data warehousing structures, these changes present a big challenge. Traditional data management solutions are constructed as a fixed data model. As a result, the ability to respond to changes and extend the model is very limited. Often, changes require major redevelopment work, which comes with significant costs. In addition, each change and extension makes the data model more complex, harder to manage and maintain, and less straightforward from a reporting perspective.
With Data Vault, changes are much easier to incorporate. Whether it's regulatory changes or changes at the data source, Data Vault allows you to extend the existing data model to evolve with these changes. In fact, Data Vault was designed from the ground up with precisely this in mind – to start with a base upon which you can extend and extend over time.
If regulators require new entities or new detailed data, this can simply be added and linked to what's already there, without having to make any changes to the existing data model, descriptions and business rules. As a result, changes to regulatory standards are much less disruptive and can be addressed with much lower resource investments.
That sounds great. But what happens when the data changes at the source?
Source system structure changes are traditionally much more challenging to deal with, and so are things like a new product or bringing in a new system. This is an area where our customers often notice the most significant changes between their traditional data warehousing systems and Data Vault.
With Data Vault, when changes like this happen, we can bring the new data in and map and connect it back to the existing hubs (entities) and tell the system that there is a new version of the data. We don't need to touch the existing data that's already in the system. We simply extend the business rules to include the new data.
From a regulatory reporting perspective, that also means we can demonstrate the difference between the old way we were presenting data and the new approach going forward – and how the new method is more accurate and more business orientated. This is really difficult, if not impossible, to do in traditional data management, but a built-in functionality in Data Vault.
So what does all of this mean from an investment perspective? How does Data Vault compare to traditional systems in terms of cost?
The cost of getting Data Vault up and running is lower than most traditional systems. However, it is this ability to deal with change and extend the existing system that means the ongoing management and maintenance cost is significantly lower. That is where the real cost savings happen. We've had clients that were able to half the development times after switching to Data Vault.
So you really can't lose with Data Vault. It's more robust, more flexible, extendable and more cost-effective.