Centralizes reference data management for more effective governance and reduced business risk

Published on 02-Jul-2012

Validated on 15 Jan 2014

"We could not have met the new Industry Sector Classification requirements in the same timeframe, and the cost and risk would have been much greater without IBM’s reference data management solution." - Tron Jønmyr, Head of IT Architecture and Design, DNB ASA


Financial Markets

Deployment country:

Information Governance, Master Data Management

IBM Business Partner:


For Norway’s DNB, a reference data management project is helping strengthen security, governance, audit and process controls for reference data to provide a single version of the truth. The result: The bank has reduced the time and cost to support new financial regulations, improved efficiency and reduced the risk in implementing a master data management initiative.

Business need:
As DNB moves from a silo-driven business and IT culture to an integrated organization, it needed to centralize management of both reference and master data.

Working with IBM and Capgemini, DNB implemented a reference data management project that streamlines stewardship, audit, security and workflow processes for reference data management and distribution.

Reduces time and cost to support new financial regulations; improves efficiency in updating, distributing and managing reference data; reduces risk in implementing a master data management initiative

Case Study

An old Chinese proverb reminds us that any journey must begin with a single step. For Tron Jønmyr, head of IT Architecture and Design at Norwegian financial services group DNB ASA, the first step in creating a single view of customers for the bank began with managing its reference data—the code data, such as country code, gender code and customer type that the bank uses in applications to help it categorize customers.

“Tackling reference data management first was a key part of our business case for starting a larger master data management (MDM) project across the company,” says Tron Jønmyr. “For our CFO and CMO, improving master data management will provide holistic insight into each customer to help us ‘see’ customers across departments and disciplines. For example, it could help the bank avoid sending offers of new savings products to a customer with payment difficulties. For our CIO, it helps support our work to move from custom applications to standard applications, which will reduce IT costs and improve service delivery.”

Centralizing reference data management
DNB offers a full range of financial services, including loans, savings, advisory services, insurance and pension products. The company serves more than three million corporate and retail customers in the Nordic region and maintains a global international network, with offices in 19 countries.

Historically, the bank was organized based on operational silos—loans, deposits, credit cards, insurance, and so on. As new applications were developed, each area defined and managed the reference data for its own applications. As a result, each application used different codes for key reference values. In some cases, Tron Jønmyr found that different applications used the same codes, but applied different values to them. For example, in one system, Code A referred to “active” clients while, in another system, Code A referred to “inactive” clients.

The downstream impact of these code differences was enormous. Mismatches in reference data degraded data quality, which increased the bank’s risk when integrating systems and data for customer relationship management and business intelligence activities. Additionally, Business Intelligence (BI) staff had to manually consolidate information for internal and regulatory reporting—a process that was resource intensive and inefficient.

Tron Jønmyr says initial work to centralize reference data, which began in December 2010, focused on defining a data model and common definitions and classifications that could be applied across all enterprise applications. Several enterprise-wide IT initiatives were underway at the time—including the creation of a new enterprise data warehouse and development of new core banking and customer relationship management systems. The BI team worked closely to synchronize its work with these project teams.

“Prioritizing good data governance is imperative in the RDM [reference data management] project,” says Tron Jønmyr. “We have been implementing rules regarding ownership, quality, lifecycle management, security and sharing, and classifications. This effort includes identifying rules between classifications, so, for example, if I have an active customer, the customer cannot have a future birth date. We defined the roles of the data stewards and how they interact with subject matter experts, and also described the work processes to support the data stewards and handle changes.”

Meeting new regulatory requirements
As this master data management project was launched, Norwegian authorities announced changes to the Industry Sector Classification, a mandatory classification in statutory and regulatory reporting for both Norwegian authorities and in Basel II reporting. Compliance with these regulatory requirements provided “common ground” for gaining support from all business units.

“The changes to the Industry Sector Classification had to be implemented throughout our entire organization within a short timeframe,” explains Tron Jønmyr. “It provided the perfect ‘first delivery’ case for our RDM project and would help us ensure that everyone across the organization would use the new solution.”

To support this work, Tron Jønmyr used the IBM InfoSphere® Master Data Management Reference Data Management Hub, which is purpose-built for managing reference data. The hub software is deployed on IBM DB2® and IBM WebSphere® Application Server.

The solution provided DNB staff with centralized stewardship, audit, security and workflow processes for reference data management and distribution. IBM Business Partner Capgemini supported the bank’s functional requirements, including reference data mapping and workflow creation.

“We could not have met the new Industry Sector Classification requirements in the same timeframe, and the cost and risk would have been much greater without IBM’s reference data management solution,” says Tron Jønmyr. “We are implementing the new sector classification only for systems directly linked to statutory and regulatory reporting, which meant that both the new and old sector classifications had to remain active. IBM’s RDM solution enabled us to map both ways, from old to new classifications, and from new to old classifications, to support this requirement.”

Moving forward, the team plans to broaden its scope, adding new sources, more complex hierarchies, and more classifications, such as customer status and lifecycle codes, as well as classifications needed by the company’s international offices for statutory and regulatory reporting to their local authorities.

“IBM’s RDM solution provides us with one place to consolidate classifications for use in all reporting and across all channels,” says Tron Jønmyr. “This centralized management will enable us to improve efficiency and provide strong governance, security, audit and process controls around authoring, changing and using reference data. Currently, we have a limited set of users—our data stewards for making classifications. However, IBM’s RDM solution is very intuitive, so as we expand our use, we can also include users from the business side.”

Tron Jønmyr says the next step also includes the launch of an MDM program infrastructure based on the IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management solution. “We selected IBM because its RDM offering met our immediate requirements and its overall MDM vision aligned with ours,” he explains. “Our RDM program is really an MDM program in miniature. This phased approach has made the threshold to invest in MDM smaller in terms of cost and risk.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM master data management solutions, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/data/infosphere

For more information about Capgemini, visit: www.capgemini.com

For more information about DNB ASA, visit: www.dnb.no

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

InfoSphere Master Information Hub, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, WebSphere Application Server, InfoSphere Master Data Management Advanced Edition

Software Services for Information Management

Legal Information

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