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Global Banking & Finance Review
A risk and control data revolution

By Peter Irvine, Head of Product, and Gaspard BiosseDuplan, Head of Sales & Trading Product at Acin

Operational Risk, as a discipline in the banking sector, has always struggled with the lack of sufficient, robust and quantifiable data. Data has often seemed to be at the heart of some of its fiercest controversies and challenges.

All this could be about to change with the introduction of a fresh approach to OpRisk data that is anchored in the methodologies of today’s data management revolution. As a result, the value that Operational Risk teams will be able to deliver to their organizations should increase substantially.

Defining “OpRisk data” 

First, what is meant by the term “OpRisk data”?

Up until recently, the phrase usually provoked thoughts about loss data – the information that firms collect when things go wrong with people, processes, systems, or external events. Today there are several loss data consortiums that collect this information and redistribute it back to firms.

However, the truth is thatOpRisk data – as a category – is much broader than just loss event data in the same way that credit risk data is much broader than just historical loss events.OpRisk data includes the fluctuating metadata of the risk taxonomies,key controls libraries, and operating performance data from the control environments itself, such as risk indicators. Finally, the data collected and produced from the risk and control self-assessments (RCSAs) should also be considered part of this dataset, as a cornerstone component ofthe risk profile view and decision making…

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‘A lot of people think entrepreneurs are megalomaniacs but they’re not really – they just want to be involved in an exciting story.’ 

So says the chief exec of intelligence consultancy Savanta. The company was born earlier this year from the merger of MIG Global’s suite of agencies and is on track to achieve a turnover of £35m.

We caught up with Roger Perowne to find out more about the collective entrepreneurialism driving his company.

Savanta promises to help clients like Vodafone, Wagamama and Sainsbury’s make better decisions. What has informed your own decision-making over the years?

‘Is there a better way of doing that?’ That question pretty much sums it up for me. And whenever I’ve taken big – and sometimes scary – decisions, professionally speaking, it’s because I’m convinced the answer is ‘yes’.

In the early 2000s, I was working in a large brand consultancy along with a very clever man called Alistair Cunningham We both had this overwhelming sense that the old agency model just wasn’t nimble or tech-savvy enough to do the things being asked of it. Our capacity to collate and present data was evolving faster than most non-tech experts could relate to, with most research businesses were not offering their clients the benefits of this new world: data on demand, data integrations, interactive data visualisation, analytics using AI, and so on. We took the plunge and created our own company because we thought we could do it better.

That company, Morar, was bought by communications group Next 15 for £5million so you were vindicated in the long run. Do entrepreneurs need that level of confidence do you think?

There is always risk attached to going it alone, and I guess not everyone likes risk. But if you have the belief that things can be done better because you’ve seen…

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