AFTAs 2022: Best data management initiative—Northern Trust

Project: Data Warehouse Solutions (DWS)


DWS is Northern Trust’s data-as-a-service product. It was built in partnership with Snowflake and provides zero-touch deployment that automatically replicates strategic data tables/schemas for each client situation. 

What problem does it solve?

A true data offering needs to take on data management and allow for the consolidation and normalization of data from multiple sources without the need for cumbersome upgrades and disruptions. DWS can de-couple applications and data to deliver a data service that tailors to clients’ specifications while addressing more complex client needs, such as geographical restrictions, security, variety of data dimensions and timeliness of data availability.

“Data is the lifeblood of any investment organization. Data Warehouse Solutions leverages one of the industry’s most promising technologies to deliver the scalability, flexibility and accountability institutional investors need from their data if they want to compete in an increasingly digital world.”
Paul d’Ouville, head of technology servicing and solutions delivery, Northern Trust

How does it solve the problem?

Northern Trust’s DWS leverage’s Snowflake’s cloud ecosystem. The offering is source-agnostic and can consume any combination of sources, including from other providers. DWS also leverages a multi-tenant core enterprise environment that interacts with client-specific single-tenant instances of the data, which can be consolidated, normalized or customized according to clients’ specifications. It also allows for post-processing data certification, governance, controls and quality metrics.

Future developments 

To further build out the product, Northern Trust will look to implement additional instances with other cloud providers, grow its ecosystem of third-party providers mapped to the solution, and expand outputs from its current use of Snowflake Accounts and integration with data tools to include custom portals, analytical applications, and datafeeds to client-side technology.

Why they won

The best data management initiative category in the annual AFTAs is one of the most highly sought-after for obvious reasons: Every capital markets firm, no matter how large and sophisticated, has data management challenges in some shape or form. Northern Trust’s DWS initiative is a worthy winner this year, leveraging Snowflake’s cloud ecosystem and resulting in a data warehouse that is flexible, source-agnostic and—crucially—can be tailored to each client’s specific needs.

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