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Data Mesh Takes Center Stage at FIMA Europe 2023


Financial services

Key Highlights and Takeaways from FIMA Europe 2023

At the recent FIMA Europe 2023 conference, there were several discussions around the innovations and key challenges in the data landscape across the financial institution sector.  

One concept that dominated the agenda and discussions on the ground was data mesh – a decentralized approach to data management that breaks large data sets into smaller domains owned by individual product teams. 

Implementing a data mesh can have significant benefits for financial organizations. By giving teams increased autonomy over their data, organizations can move faster and be more responsive to changing business needs. However, enacting a data mesh requires overcoming challenges around governance, discoverability, and quality.  

Discover how we collaborated with Northern Trust (NT) on building a data mesh strategy recently. The project is one that ultimately aims to encourage a data-driven culture that will empower NT’s employees and clients.   


Embedding Data Mesh – Don’t Forget Governance

One of the biggest challenges with decentralizing data is ensuring adequate governance. With data mesh, governance responsibilities are distributed across teams instead of being centrally managed. This requires clearly defining ownership, applying policies consistently, and enabling collaboration between teams. 

Several FIMA Europe sessions highlighted how organizations can bake governance into a data mesh from the start. For example, standards can dictate how teams describe, protect, and make data available to others. Centralized catalogues also help teams discover data sets across the organization. Platforms like LinkedIn’s WhereHows automatically scan metadata and provide visibility into the status of governance policies across data sets. 

In addition, dedicated domain stewards can work with teams to apply governance best practices within their domains. Rather than acting as overlords, stewards provide guidance and share patterns between teams. This helps balance autonomy with necessary oversight. 


Approaching Data Mesh as a Paradigm Shift

Speakers emphasized that realizing the potential of data mesh requires more than just technological changes – it represents an organizational and cultural shift as well. Data governance processes need reassessment to move authority closer to individual domains and products. 

This involves defining standardized protocols for access, security, and quality that empower teams while enabling collaboration. Data stewards, advocacy programs, and executive buy-in are critical for encouraging teams to assess, describe, and share their data. Product managers also need elevated data literacy skills in order to oversee domain data practices. 

With the right foundation, a decentralized data mesh paradigm can accelerate innovation across financial organizations. But enacting a new data infrastructure requires rethinking old governance habits.  

The discussions at FIMA Europe made clear that governance must be embedded directly within the data mesh architecture itself. By distributing oversight mechanisms across domains, organizations can balance autonomy with the necessary guardrails. As the concept matures, financial institutions have an opportunity to lead data culture transformations focused directly on business value. 

Learn more about a data mesh transformation via this video.