This morning CityAM reports on a Robert Half salary report that shows Compliance and Operational Risk Management staff salaries are set to increase by up to 11.7% in 2017.

This should prompt firms to look at the effectiveness and efficiency of their current Compliance and Operational Risk Management activities. 

Effectiveness is about doing the right things to complete activities and achieve objectives, whereas efficiency is about doing things in the right or most optimal way to complete activities and achieve objectives, for example the fastest or least expensive way.

Within the context of Compliance and Operational Risk Management, one of the biggest things that reduces efficiency is having skilled and relatively expensive Compliance and Operational Risk Management staff reduced to 'spreadsheet jockeys'; spending their days manually collecting, manipulating and reporting data using ad hoc PowerPoint and Excel 'systems'.  

As a direct result of time spent in 'spreadsheet jockey' mode, Compliance and Operational Risk Management effectiveness is reduced as staff are focused on the wrong things - manually processing data rather than focusing on understanding the 'signals within the data', generating insight, challenging and engaging with the business.

Rather than facing ever increasing staff costs; in 2017 firms should ask if they are deploying their current staff well and providing them with the right technology solutions to drive effectiveness and efficiency.