Investment Operations

The Importance of a Data-Centric Approach to Compliance

Clearstream Digital Assets

Increased complexity, rising costs and significant financial, operational and reputational risk have accompanied the wave of new regulations implemented over the past decade. Add to that the pandemic which brought with it market volatility and an exponential increase in the number of market abuse alerts, and financial compliance has become even more complex.

SteelEye, the compliance technology and data analytics firm, has published “Data-Driven Financial Services Compliance – Understanding the Opportunity,” a white paper that explores the key challenges faced by compliance teams within financial markets as they navigate regulatory change.

This white paper looks at how regulatory change is impacting compliance teams and businesses overall, highlighting the key challenges firms are grappling with. It then recommends a fresh approach to compliance, with data quality and digital transformation at its core, concluding that financial firms can no longer continue to manage their obligations in the way they have to date, but instead need to opt for a more holistic and data-centric approach.

“The data that is required for regulatory reporting, trade surveillance and best execution is largely the same, so why do financial firms operate separate systems for these regulatory obligations? ” said Matt Smith, CEO of SteelEye. “As compliance teams face growing regulations and increasing volumes of data, the industry needs to change its approach. Adopting a data-first strategy, which focuses on accurately capturing, normalizing and storing both structured and unstructured data on a unified platform offers an efficient, scalable and future-proof response to regulatory compliance.”

Smith added that a data-centric approach not only provides a complete picture for compliance teams to manage an increased number of alerts and operate more efficiently, but also facilitates data analysis for other parts of the firm to identify improvements.


  • Compliance teams can solve a range of challenges associated with regulatory change by adopting an approach that’s rooted in digital transformation, and specifically, the enhancement of data quality.
  • Getting the data right is foundational. This involves making sure all data is correctly sourced, ingested, cleaned, and normalized, and automating these processes through the use of technology.
  • By adopting a data-centric approach to compliance, firms can meet a range of their regulatory obligations using only one data set. This includes regulatory reporting, market abuse monitoring and surveillance, best execution reporting, record keeping and more.
  • Further, this data set can be leveraged for a wide range of use cases beyond compliance, providing the opportunity for compliance teams to contribute proactively to their organization’s overall data management, insight and analytics.