Banks in APAC, including in Malaysia, struggle with data lineage: ASG

  • Data lineage increasingly important due to regulatory pressure
  • Data warehouse doesn't solve all the problems
Banks in APAC, including in Malaysia, struggle with data lineage: ASG

MANY banks in Asia Pacific are finding it a challenge to have a full visibility of their data and to achieve exact data lineage across their enterprise, said financial services solution provider ASG Software Solutions. 

The software firm, which has been offering its data lineage solution to global banks, is starting to increase its focus on the Asia Pacifc region, including the Malaysian market.

"We have just started approaching the banks here. In Asia Pacific, we do find there's knowledge about data lineage in most of the banks. We also know for a fact that many of these banks are struggling to get exact data lineage across the enterprise. 

"This is because we know the competitors that exist and how the product works. We know how the global banks have come to us asking for solutions for the problems they are facing, and it will also be a problem of regional and domestic banks," said ASG Asia Pacific general manager Praveen Kumar in an interview with Digital News Asia in Kuala Lumpur recently.

"However, whether or not there's an immediate need or budget to adopt data lineage solutions, we cannot comment."

What is data lineage?

For decades, banks have been operating in a highly regulated environment. This means, there's a national and international regulatory body that will govern them on what they should or should not do with the data they have.

"When the regulator comes in, they don't look at everything at face value. They will need you to prove it. One of the examples is the 'Know your customer (KYC)' process -- whereby as a bank, you need to know your customers as much as possible, including their source of income.

"The regulator will come in and ask the banks if they have validated the information. Did the bank validate the customer's address? If yes, how can the bank prove the address is legit? If the banks got the address from a copy of the customer's phone bill, what are the process that validate the bill is accurate?

"So, the banks have started going step by step into just one aspect of that 'KYC' process. This is where data lineage comes in," said Praveen.

ASG's enterprise data intelligence solutions

Banks in APAC, including in Malaysia, struggle with data lineage: ASGOne of the company's enterprise data intelligence solutions capabilities includes data lineage -- whereby it helps banks to answer regulator and auditors' key questions -- where does the data come from, where does it go and how does it change?

"We have a solution that allows banks to identify which data has moved within applications, where it has been input, where has it been modified. It basically will form a chain to identify if there was a problem in the process and if there's a problem in the lineage," said Praveen (pic).

While having such level of visibility may not be a requirement in the past, but the need has been growing over the past several years, thanks to increasing issues of money laundering and fraud.

"A lot of these issues are a result of the inherent financial institutions being incapable of identifying the exact problem. Where did they miss the loop? Was it at the fund transfer? Was it at the customers' data? Was there an alert when a big fund is being transacted?

"You can have any types of applications, whether it sits in the mainframe, Oracle, DB2, SAP or other applications, we can provide zero gap data lineage. We have 220 scanners, so we can address 220 different app out of the box," said Praveen.

Data warehouse don't solve all problems

Over the past five years, banks have started to build data warehouse as they aim to bring all the data under one location.

"Sadly, that doesn't solve all the problem," said Praveen.

"The data warehouse - whichever vendor you pick - will have a good data lineage within the warehouse. However, as the bank deployed warehouse, they found out that they could not bring all the data into the warehouse because a lot of the data resides in other areas like the branch office, or in other mechanism that you can't bring into the warehouse.

"As social media evolve, as enterprise resource planning (ERP) evolve, there is practically very little way to bring all the data in the warehouse because there's many unstructured data," he added.

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