2019 Risk All Star: Jason Collum

Challenging Convention: How One Risk Manager Flipped Risk Reporting on Its Head

In the past decade, the Sage Group, a British multinational enterprise software company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, has grown at a rapid clip. And, as expected, massive growth typically delivers a commensurate boost in the demand for data that delivers accurate, timely risk reporting.

Jason Collum, risk manager, Sage Group

A Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 entity (and with $2.1B in revenue for 2018), Sage’s executive leadership expects the benefit of access to a consistent view of the organization’s strategic and enterprise risks. With rapid growth, however, the task was easier said than done.

Enter Jason Collum, risk manager at the company’s North Park global headquarters. Collum’s award-winning work drew on Sage’s multiple systems and sources, as well as complementing existing management reporting.

Prior to the eventual solution, in fact, eight members of Sage’s risk team had to manually produce global and localized risk reporting, using up to 140 hours per quarter, on average, to support one global and eight local risk committees.

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Naturally, that workload negatively impacted the time available to provide insightful analysis; it also limited the team’s ability to drive proactive risk management across the business.

According to Sage risk director Andrew Bent, who nominated Collum for this award, Collum’s approach “totally upended how risk reporting was provided to the organization.

“In designing and implementing this solution, Jason faced a number of challenges that could have stopped a lesser risk manager,” Bent explained.

Those challenges involved identifying the sources of data, and then negotiating access to it, requiring Collum to be persistent and consistent in his messaging and approach.

Bent added that despite the often-shifting demands of stakeholders (including Bent), Collum nonetheless created a set of solutions that not only met but greatly exceeded Sage leadership’s expectations.

For starters, Collum immediately recognized the value of the risk team’s ability to consistently access reliable data — the obvious underpinning for all management and risk conversations.

So, he designed a framework of quantitative metrics that would help inform the strategic risk picture. Next, he set out to locate the data sources within the organization that could inform those metrics.

“As he went through this journey, Jason partnered with other Sage teams, producing business metrics, ensuring alignment and consistency could be achieved across multiple reporting streams,” Bent said.

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As part of that strategy, Collum created online forms that could be used to easily collect commentary and analysis from risk owners, other stakeholders and members of the risk team.

Once submitted via a common form, this text-based information was able to be uploaded directly without the need for additional editing or formatting.

Also, by leveraging an existing and familiar tool called Power BI, Collum built easy-to-use dashboards that provided both regional and global risk insights. As leaders were already familiar with Power BI, it greatly increased their ability to adopt and use the new reporting process. &

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Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, clarity of vision and passion.

See the complete list of 2019 Risk All Stars.

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