Danske Bank brings teams together with data governance and privacy

Get advice for implementing data governance in the financial industry from Denmark’s largest bank

By | 3 minute read | January 12, 2021

Danske Bank had a big question to answer: How do we make sure we have the right people, using the right data, at the right time?

Founded in 1871 and based in Copenhagen, Danske Bank is Denmark’s largest financial institution with more than five million customers across Europe. As a thought leader in data management, cloud movement and data governance, Danske Bank has embarked on a journey to implement Agile processes across its organization and meet data privacy requirements. The data governance team needed to bring together stakeholders from various units to make sure they were not just meeting the data needs of one team, but all.

Vicki Leigh-Mackenzie, a leader in the data governance practice who helped establish Danske Bank’s Group Data Office, worked with teams across the organization to spearhead this consolidation effort. To modernize their technology and data management practice, her team’s vision was focused on their end users, to improve efficiency and to make jobs easier across IT, analytics, development and more. As she explains in a webinar with IBM, Danske Bank looked to achieve this through automated integration using IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog for IBM Cloud Pak® for Data. Danske Bank’s goal—to not only input and store data effectively, but also to make data easier to consume for every stakeholder, all while maintaining rigorous compliance standards—was realized with the help of IBM through the Global Elite Program, which is dedicated to accelerating clients’ immediate and long-term business needs.

Pivoting data governance as remote work and data privacy regulations increase

Privacy has always been at the forefront of Danske Bank’s agenda, but the shift to more remote work in 2020 and new compliance regulations in the EU and Denmark required a big pivot in data management. Remote work placed a greater focus on solving locality challenges in organizing data across an increasingly complex data landscape. At the same time, tighter regulations meant that Danske Bank needed to create a modern, efficient data foundation to stay compliant.

Danske Bank rose to the occasion and used these data privacy initiatives to spearhead innovation and bring teams together across governance, privacy and IT security.

A cultural shift

When it comes to implementing data governance across the enterprise, “think big, start small, scale up,” says Vicki.

Cross-team collaboration was not just around implementing a whole new set of procedures, but it required a cultural change. Danske Bank needed flexibility with their data as well as an ownership model that was fluid and that could reflect and adapt as the bank and data footprint grew.

Vicki and her team turned to a modern data catalog when looking to mature their technology practice. They needed to determine what data they needed to capture, and to bring data into a holistic view for use across the bank.

Previously Danske Bank saw data as an IT problem, but it was truly a problem across the business – and needed to be treated as such so stakeholders throughout the organization could get the most value out of Danske Bank’s data. To figure out what metadata they have and where, Danske Bank is modernizing with IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog as the foundation to its metadata management practice. This unified solution across data quality, governance, and privacy helps the bank curate clean and secure data in an automated and agile way. Danske Bank looks to establish proper data governance as well as consolidate data from disparate sources to achieve a single user experience that reduces data preparation and ensures data is trusted.

When modernizing your data governance practice, Vicki recommends getting cross-divisional teams invested from the start. “You want to think of the big picture, but if you start with a big-bang approach, it’s so hard to keep people interested. [Instead,] take a problem that the business faces, use your tooling and your data governance capabilities to solve that, and bring people along the journey rather than trying to enforce what to do. [This approach can] show teams how data governance helps make their jobs easier.”

Next steps

To hear more about Danske Bank’s data journey, how a data catalog accelerates collaboration, and how having a data foundation fuels innovation and growth, sign up to watch the webinar:  Strategically evolving the data governance practice at Danske Bank.

For more information on benefits and best practices, check out our ebook A Comprehensive Guide for the Modern Data Catalog.

IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog is named a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions. Read the report.