Data Management Awareness in Africa
There’s a growing awareness of the power of data analytics and the need for data management across Africa. And a particular hotbed for this growth is in East Africa – a region known for its early adoption of technology and willingness to use it.
Standard Bank has embarked on a project in their Ugandan operations to improve the quality of data, ensure it is managed correctly and importantly that it is used to make effective business decisions.
Leading this project is Siya Mthethwa, Head of Data & Infrastructure – PBB RoA, and I spent some time with him when he was back in South Africa recently to get an update on how the project roll-out was progressing.
Corinium: Siya, can you tell me a little about your background in data?
Siya: I am a dedicated Information Manager with over 10 years commercial experience in ICT, Consulting, Public Sector and Banking – designing and developing Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence solutions – and building Data Management Capabilities (with Data Governance as a core focus). My consulting background has enabled me to translate business objectives into actionable Data/Information, Business Intelligence activities and IT deliverables.
In my current role as Head of Data Management at Standard Bank Africa Region I am currently based in Uganda where I am responsible for localising Data Management Capability (as a discipline) , deployment of a Data Quality framework that will ensure clean, accurate and timely data across the organisation; and driving data remediation across our branch network of 76.
Corinium: You’re currently engaged in a project in Uganda for Standard Bank/Stanbic focused on driving effective data collection and usage. Can you give us some insight into why Uganda was chosen and what the objective of the project is?
Siya: Data has, over past few years, been identified as a key enabler for growth across the group and, as a result, Data Management has become an important discipline in enabling customer centricity. The current deployment of a Data Management capability in Uganda is important because it will provide a framework that can be leveraged by other countries across the group.
Challenges & Opportunities
Corinium: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
Siya: With a program of this size challenges are inevitable – from defining and agreeing data quality measures for customer contactability with various stakeholders whilst ensuring that there is adherence to regulatory compliance to consolidating data from various systems into a single data repository.
The Ugandan executive Information Governance committee known as iGovCo established a Data Forum which is mandated to drive a data program. The Data Forum setup various project streams which are responsible for addressing various initiatives around data management. Data Quality and Remediation is one of those streams and its objectives are to:
- Deploy data quality ‘as a capability’ across the organisation to ensure that all data captured by our systems (both core and peripheral) is complete, accurate and has integrity
- Drive data clean-up for all legacy data
Corinium: The opportunity in the region must be significant to justify this project. What are those opportunities and how will data analytics help the bank take advantage of those?
Siya: Upon completion of this project we will have a 360o view of the customer which will enable us customise and package our products to suit the needs of our customers. This is in line with our Customer Centricity initiative. Through data analytics we will be able to proactively analyse customer behaviour and produce valuable business insights such as path to churn, leveraging the ecosystem, etc.
Corinium: Finally, what advice can you share to those who are at the very early phase of their data management journeys?
Siya: Unfortunately there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach in data management but three things that are critical to the success of the program are executive buy-in, clear delivery/rollout plan with tangible milestones and an effective communication plan.
Siya will leading a session entitled ‘Data Management Session 2: Quality, Stewardship & Ownership’ during the Data Foundations Focus Day at Chief Data & Analytics Officer Africa 2017 which is taking place at The Maslow, Sandton, from 3 to 5 July 2017.