Why so many DCM teams are data rich but information poor

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to draw instant conclusions from the reams of data that your Syndicate desk generates day in, day out? To immediately see where an arbitrage opportunity has opened up or to spot trends across issuers, products and currencies? Or to know which issuer and product requires immediate attention?

Everyone wants Analytics and insights from their data, but everyone’s also up against the most powerful enemy of data science: if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.

It’s no use to have access to the last 10 years of pricing updates in “digital” format if that means they’re stored in an Outlook folder or on 20 different, incomplete and incompatible Excel files. To be of value, you need everything in a consistent data structure within a single and comprehensive source of truth.

Which means you need to start where the data is created. And this is exactly where most banks’ initiatives to “digitalise new issue pricing” fail.

Discipline works best when it doesn’t have to be enforced

Humans are lazy and while the promise of fantastic Analytics tomorrow sounds great, it isn’t usually enough to ensure data discipline today when it’s all too easy to run an ad hoc process in email or Excel (except perhaps for some hardcore data afficionados who find the necessary discipline themselves. In which case: you should definitely talk to us!)

In practice, if you want to coax users into adhering to a data structure that is sufficiently robust for useful Analytics downstream, you need to provide them with an intrinsic motivation to do so.

And there is really only one way: the “digitalised” way of working has to be obviously and materially better than what came before. Simple. But also exceptionally difficult.

Death by a thousand cuts

Every team has their way of doing things, every market has its conventions, every Sector its different product classifications, every currency its benchmarks and reference rates, and so on.

From the dozens of banks we speak to the lesson is clear: sooner or later most internal initiatives capitulate in the face of endless complexity and requests for customisations – and people drift back into the old ways.

We’ve solved this adoption and ongoing usage problem already, in over 20 countries.

Now the attention can turn to Analytics and data insights.

Get in touch if you want to short-circuit your team’s journey to a truly digitalised new issue pricing process.