Central banks worldwide are tasked with managing vast quantities of data, from the banks they supervise, as well as their own activities. The Central Bank of Brazil is no exception: on a day‑to‑day basis it processes more than 100 million records. Ensuring this data is disseminated in terms of viability, usefulness, access and availability is no small feat. Neither is maintaining the data’s security.
In 2013, Brazil’s central bank revamped the way it thought about data and launched a new Information Governance Policy (PGI), which has since become a benchmark for the public sector. For this reason, the Central Bank of Brazil has won Central Banking’s FinTech & RegTech Best Data Management Initiative Award.
The PGI is impressive not only because it has helped streamline the central bank’s data management processes, but also because it helped mitigate a number of operational risks through the reduction of information exchanged between the central bank and public agencies mandated to submit certain data to the regulator, a major cost for both parties.
One of the PGI’s most important objectives has been to eliminate these unnecessary regulatory costs by creating a number of databases through which supervised firms can upload data to traditional servers. These are then managed through two channels: information curators, who run the databases; and information stewards, who process and handle the data relevant to the team they have been appointed by.
Since the launch, the Central Bank of Brazil has eliminated around 25,500 document transfers a year, exporting data from the database instead. An in‑house dashboard supports the information curators and stewards by automatically tracking all data sent to the central bank by financial institutions.
The Central Bank of Brazil has also established an information governance office, supported by a specific steering committee, and information curators and stewards. The office co‑ordinates policy across business lines throughout the organisation. The steering committee, meanwhile, is responsible for managing regulatory costs and approving and enforcing information‑related policies across the central bank.
This information governance office keeps an information catalogue, which holds historical data pulled from the various databases and corresponding information from curators and stewards. Acting as a data hub, the catalogue is a single point of entry for more than 1,000 databases maintained by the central bank.
Since the launch of the project, the central bank has made a large portion of its data public. Launched in 2016, a new portal gives the public access to more than 3,000 datasets from over 60% of the databases managed by the central bank.