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4 practical tips for overcoming data distress

Stressed out and overwhelmed - that seems to be the sentiment among data leaders in financial services. A recent survey by data management firm Solidatus revealed alarming levels of work-related stress and anxiety. 

The findings are concerning: 71% of financial services senior data leaders say they are on the verge of quitting their jobs due to high-stress levels. Most report mental health impacts like disrupted sleep and the need to take sick days. 

In this post, we'll offer practical tips to help data leaders in financial services overcome data complexities and pressures. Read on for strategies to overcome data distress and optimise your well-being and performance.

Tip 1: Prioritise mental health and wellbeing 

Before diving into tactical solutions, it’s important to ensure you're prioritising basic self-care and work-life balance. No job is worth sacrificing your mental stability. The survey makes it clear - data distress negatively impacts mental health. 74% of respondents have had to take sick days and 61% regularly have disrupted sleep. It's crucial to acknowledge the toll data complexity can take. 

Top tips:

  • Make time for healthy habits like exercise, nutritious meals and social connections outside of work. Try not to let work encroach on your personal life.

  • Be vigilant about signs of burnout like exhaustion, cynicism, and feeling inefficacious. Address any emerging issues proactively. 

  • Set boundaries and reasonable workloads. Don't take on more than you can handle. Ask for help when needed.

Making self-care and mental health a priority will give you the resilience and energy needed to tackle the root causes of data distress. Don't overlook your own needs.

Tip 2: Address data silos and disparate sources 

The survey found that fragmented, siloed data is a top cause of distress for data leaders. When data is scattered across disparate systems and sources, it becomes difficult to get a unified view.

That’s why consolidating and integrating data sources should be a priority. This will reduce duplicative efforts, manual processes, and inconsistencies that create headaches. 

So consider how you can help streamline your credit data environment. One approach is to use data benchmarking, which is designed to create complete transparency into what credit data is available and the pricing others are paying. (More on this next.)

Tip 3: Leverage data benchmarking 

The survey revealed that data leaders struggle with disparate, siloed data sources. They also noted inefficient tools and processes wasted time trying to wrangle data for regulatory reporting.  

This is where a data benchmarking service can make a real difference. Data benchmarking provides the evidence-based benchmarks and transparency needed to optimise your data environment.

By comparing your current state against industry peers, you gain unique insights into:

  • Pricing: See exactly how your data costs stack up and where there's room for savings. We benchmark data price points, licence fees, maintenance costs, and more.

  • Quality: Evaluate which providers truly deliver the most accurate, high-quality data to meet your needs. 

  • Compliance: Ensure your data usage aligns with Consumer Duty and other regulations.

By partnering with external experts, you can leverage their experience benchmarking for top financial institutions. Then through comprehensive analysis, you can reveal optimisation opportunities tailored to your organisation. This includes recommending new products, providers, and target pricing based on real market evidence. So rather than tackling this alone, lean on outside experts. They can do the heavy lifting to create pricing transparency, evaluate quality, and ensure compliance.

Tip 4: Seek support from peers and mentors

Data complexity and organisational pressures can sometimes feel isolating. But connecting with a strong support network makes all the difference in managing stress. Lean on peers who understand the day-to-day realities you face. Even if they don't have solutions, empathising with the challenges can help.

Identify others who have successfully navigated similar scenarios. Their experience and reassurance that it's possible to thrive despite the difficulties can inspire you. Consider joining data leader communities to find camaraderie and share best practices. You may discover innovative techniques while also building up your network.

In summary, don't hesitate to rely on your support system to vent, brainstorm ideas, or get a morale boost on tough days. And be willing to return the favour when others need support. Surrounding yourself with people who can commiserate, advise, and cheer you on will help you avoid isolation and stay resilient. 

Summary

Data complexity and other pressures create data distress for many leaders in financial services. But there are steps you can take to protect your mental health and optimise how you manage data.

This includes basic self-care, leveraging data benchmarking to control your environment, focusing on high-impact areas first, and relying on your support network. While the pressures won't disappear overnight, the right tools, best practices, and support can help you lead with clarity and resilience.

 

 

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Nick Green

Nick Green

Director

Purple Patch Broking Ltd

Member since

07 Dec 2020

Location

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Blog posts

66

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