Looking for the best data broker
But is the creation of a unified data organization a responsibility that Finance should (and can) take on?
In many companies, this question remains unanswered. Of course, some CFOs do have that ambition and are keen to building on their traditional task of managing data entry and data analytics. But times have changed and, in view of the enormous rise of data gathering (besides purely financial data), one might also consider attributing the role of data broker to the Chief Data Officer or Chief Information Officer.
The data broker’s role encompasses the protection, consolidation and governance of data as well as the sharing, leveraging and monetization of it. The role of Finance in the protection and governance of data would make sense, since no one benefits from data floating around uncontrolledly. Meanwhile, clear guidelines are needed on security, access, harmonization and consolidation, and Finance is well equipped to cover all these aspects.
On a side note, regarding data consolidation and governance, it is important to decide whether data should be stored and maintained in the ERP system or not. That is still the case in many companies but, increasingly, a central data management platform – consider it an ERP for data – is preferred because of the efficiency gains that can be made. In this second scenario, data entry happens in a broad range of systems. It is then collected and consolidated in the master data management platform that acts as a single system of record. The result is a clear distinction in roles between the ERP, which manages the processes, and the master data management tool, which manages and maintains the data that then feeds those processes.