Compliance teams ‘must make better use of big data’

The use of big data is being increasingly seen among financial institutions' compliance teams, but many companies are not yet doing enough to make full use of the technology.

This is according to a new study by Deloitte, which revealed optimism in this technology has actually fallen over the last 12 months. In 2014, 41 per cent of professional stated they were confident or very confident in the capabilities of their IT systems, but this has dropped to just 32 per cent in this year's survey.

It was suggested that one reason for this is the relatively small size of compliance departments, which means these professionals need to rely on other areas of the business to deliver the data that is needed to provide results. As a result of this, compliance officers spend a disproportionate amount of their time collecting data, rather than analysing it.

Overall, Deloitte found that compliance teams are showing great interest in predictive analytics. The technology can help businesses forecast future risk or assist them in coping with regulatory change. However, it noted that at the moment, few tools can meet the needs of financial services firms without significant customisation, which is another factor holding back adoption.

Nicole Sandford, partner and national practice leader at Deloitte & Touche's enterprise compliance department, commented: "While big data and GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) tools may hold the key to effective risk assessment and control monitoring, many organisations are still waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. New applications and increasing access to data are coming, and that will take compliance to the next level with predictive analytics."

The use of big data analytics to assist with compliance activities is likely to become more common in the coming years as businesses place a higher priority on these activities.

Deloitte's survey revealed 59 per cent of companies now have a chief compliance officer as a standalone position, up from 37 per cent in 2013.