We know that data drives the business. And good data drives results. But maintaining the reliability of that data can be a challenge. Today fund managers who need to analyze factors that can affect a company’s performance are being asked to understand and assess ESG data to identify strong investment opportunities. But as data sources proliferate and data pipelines become more complex data teams often don’t have the observability metrics they need to identify, understand, and remediate data issues. That can put your investment strategies at risk.
At Soda, we were recently approached by a fund service provider looking for a better way to monitor their ESG datasets. In recent years, Environment, Social, and Governance indicators have become critically important to investment strategies. This sustainability data is collected from across a wide variety of sources and helps fund managers better assess asset value, growth, and risk. Indicators are wide-ranging and include factors like corporate policies, regulatory compliance, environmental impact, and more. A better ESG score is often predictive of better performance. In recent months, with the advent of a world-wide pandemic that’s had a devastating economic impact, it’s become even more critical for fund managers to invest in ‘future-proof’ assets that are having a positive impact on global health and stability.
Early on, ESG metrics were gathered by fund managers who determined what data mattered to their investing strategy. That, of course, created a lot of different datasets using different definitions. More recently, as companies began to see the value of this approach, they began to generate their own ESG data, publishing it in their annual reports, and creating, yes you guessed it, even more data. This in turn has allowed external vendors to step in and aggregate all of this data, defining key metrics and publishing additional ESG scores for targeted companies. The sheer amount of ESG data has grown tremendously over the past few years across a variety of sources from machine learning data to geospatial mapping to fund level reports.
The advent of richer ESG data is helping fund administrators invest more deliberately in more sustainable assets. But to continue to do so they will need more objective and observable processes to assess the reliability of that data.
Investment decisions, of course, are time-sensitive, so identifying data issues quickly is critically important. At Soda, we believe the best way to do this is to test and monitor data automatically, as early in the data pipeline as possible. We were able to help the fund manager perform more reliably against ESG benchmarks by providing their data engineers with a better way to test their data. Once the Soda platform was deployed into their cloud environment (which takes minutes), the fund service provider was able to start monitoring the relevant data immediately. They selected the datasets they wanted to monitor and chose which team members should receive alerts based on the type of event or change. The platform runs validations automatically, so it was simple to scale data monitoring across diverse ESG data, from waste water management to diversity initiatives.
Now, when business data arrives, data engineers can understand the status of their datasets with immediate access to the right observability metrics. As well, data owners can combine data more reliably since their data is automatically tested before being deployed.
When deploying Soda, your data never leaves your private cloud and your analysts can start using it immediately. Your data teams can realize even more value from the Soda Enterprise platform, a self-service tool that monitors datasets of any size and alerts the right team members when problems occur.
ESG data is one important way for fund managers to assess a company’s sustainability and guide investment strategies over the long term. Soda can help your teams quickly identify and remediate data issues at any point in the data pipeline, giving you a higher level of confidence in ESG performance. Your data engineers can start using Soda today to monitor data.