The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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have established a WREF Data Governance and Data Management Office, and have appointed individuals to serve as DG and DM leads. We have several objectives, all targeted at addressing the most pressing business issues and improving our DG maturity: to create a data stewardship program, to roll out a data dictionary and business glossary, to establish master DM integration, and to make it easier for users to access information on a common platform. Ho: b ank of a merica has been using data to inform business decisions for many years. Was d G always an important capability in the C re function? Tinker: The bank had limited data-quality testing when I came on board about 20 years ago, but not the full DG program we have today. Long ago, we had reports with outdated or incorrect information in them, so it was common for users to check reports first before using them. One driver for change was mergers and acquisitions. As the bank acquired other institutions, each with its own CRE systems and databases, we used our data-quality testing as a part of our overall validation of system conversions. Regulators are another driver, as they constantly push us to produce more accurate reporting. Ho: What does your C re d G structure at b ank of a merica look like now? Tinker: The bank has an enterprise-wide team of data-steward executives to manage nearly 70 data domains. I am the data steward executive for facility data, while others manage data for HR, finance, banking products, and other areas. We have very deep and well-established processes for managing data lineage and integrity throughout the data lifecycle. The bank is constantly evolving, so it is always a work in progress. My two-person team manages the day-to- day, field-by-field issues in our CRE information. We also have subject-matter experts who focus on, say, lease or energy and sustainability data, whether from the bank's systems or those of our real estate service providers. And, we have technical support from JLL's DG team, since the firm is one of our real estate service providers. Ho: How do you build a business case for investing in d G resources? Tinker: At Bank of America, we initially began focusing on DG because we needed people to trust the information on reports and not spend time validating the information. Today, our mandate comes from the top. We have organization-wide DG policies, standards and infrastructure, not just because our regulators demand it but also because it is the right thing to do. What counts is what's important to your leadership and business users. Consumers of our facility data expect it to be just as complete and accurate as we expect of the data we consume from other bank data sources. When leadership understands the benefits of always having reliable data, you get the resources. Tillett: We secured management support to evolve a DG function to address frustrations with the lack of consistency in cross-functional management reporting. To create a real estate DG and DM office, I proposed that we simply outline our vision, goals and business issues we would address. DG is helping to standardize management reporting and address multiple operational-data-related issues. Language and communication style are essential and challenging to get right in this area. There's a significant range of understanding of the technical requirements between team members who work within the DG community and the many users who rely on the data. Also, we have focused on achieving some quick wins around portfolio strategy. By creating a holistic view of the real estate portfolio, for instance, we were able to quickly provide insights that led to better business decisions. Ho: Neither of you came from a d M background, so how did you come to assume the roles you hold today? Tillett: I am passionate about realizing the true value that information can bring to an organization, and simplifying the way we work. The value of the whole is most definitely more than the sum of the parts. the leader September 2018 49

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