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What’s the difference between see-through and look through?

Sometimes working with data can seem like an existentialist exercise. Are we thinking about data or are we thinking about the human condition? Sometimes it’s a little of both.

Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defence had this to say about discovery and self improvement: “There are known unknowns... things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns… things we don’t know we don’t know.” Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defence, 2001 to 2006

This is where see-through and look-through come in. Sometimes you can’t avoid the unknown, but being sure of what is known and unknown gives management control. 

A single set of data can do this by giving management the capacity to look through assets. It can also provide the insight to see through into specific trading desks at investment banks.  

There has never been more clarity of data. Managers can get the detailed information they need but also an overview showing what information is available and what is not.

Timeliness is important, too. A single set of data must be managed with dedicated task-specific tools, as it is efficiently moved and analysed across the enterprise. That requires a set of outputs to deliver the insights needed in as close to real time as possible.

Remember, we need that detailed information for regulators and managers who need to look through the data on a granular level. This means that the tool must be able to handle massive historical data sets for more in-depth analysis.

To use this information to grow on the back of the investment driven by regulation, senior management needs to take action to:

  • Engage with stakeholders to get buy-in on the vision.
  • Use those functions to gain acceptance of the model within the wider organisation.
  • Establish which functions can see the greatest return from an integrated approach.

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