Data and Private Equity Software: Helping Fund Managers Make Better Decisions

In private equity today, data is king. That isn’t to say that the skills and experience of a firm’s team members aren’t important. But without data, there’s really nothing to focus those skills and experience on. Consequently, a great deal of time and effort is invested in capturing data. This is why you need private equity software you can trust.

But then what happens? In too many cases, the value of the information that a firm has worked so hard to collect is squandered because the data remains isolated and gathering digital dust—often in someone’s email inbox. 

This scenario is also problematic if a team member leaves the firm and the data they had possession of is lost. The firms that succeed today are those that continually add to their “institutional knowledge.” Data is an asset, and as with any other type of asset, you’ve got to take care of it.

A Powerful Solution for Your Inbox

At Altvia, we’re focused on helping fund managers and institutional investors manage their data more effectively. For them to do that, they need purpose-built private equity software.

Needless to say, there’s a strong business case for capturing and integrating data from a firm’s email system into a centralized solution. That data helps paint a more complete picture of the firm’s operations. It also can be the key to new insights and better decisions.

Our system fully integrates with  our Salesforce-based CRM. This integration enables you to easily capture data from your inbox and consolidate it with existing  data thereby giving you an accurate, 360-degree view of your relationships, opportunities, and investments.

How Software Enables Firms to Optimize Human Capital

Altvia does more than simply help firms leverage their data more effectively. In doing so, it helps them get the most from their people.

As noted above, manually capturing data is a very time-consuming task. But it’s one that many firms are so used to completing that they never stop to think, “What could our people be doing if time spent on data capture could be spent on other, higher-level tasks?” It’s an important question. And the answer is, “A lot!”

Teams that implement email integration very quickly see that the productivity of team members who previously had to spend many hours every month on data-related tasks jumps significantly. That should be no surprise.

And both the firm and individual team members get a boost from being freed from mundane tasks, as we point out in this blog post:

“…this generational shift is pivotal – it involves the need for Private Equity firms to recast into new roles and systems in order to embrace the rising challenges of operational excellence, optimizing personnel and data management. To make this happen, new skills to manage new tools for cost-efficiently scaling the business over time are paramount.”

Make the Move to Advanced Private Equity Software

If you aren’t using leading-edge private equity software. You should be. And it’s likely that if other firms are beating you at identifying deals and taking action, it’s probably because they have a technological advantage. 

Fortunately, implementing private equity software with Altvia is easy. So is leveraging the solution to increasing productivity.

How, specifically, could you benefit from Private Equity Software in your environment? The best way to find out is to talk with us about how your firm operates today and the improvements you’d like to make.

A traditional crm was built for general ‘customer’ scenarios

Software platforms have made the world a better place by making work a better place. Indeed the world is better off when people enjoy their jobs even marginally more, and workplace applications on big CRM platforms like have done that and much more.

But the potential that platforms like these offer presents diminishing returns: once the platform provider has engineered too many industry specific components into its platform, its usefulness for other industries begins to be threatened, and with that so do the usefulness of the component tools built into the platform.

So it is with the CRM category that has defined: it is generic enough to work for many industries, and yet still offers the potential for others to round off the edges and nail more vertically-oriented and extremely tailored software solutions.

Private capital markets are actually a great demonstration of this dynamic. Where generic CRM platforms simplify — appropriately so — to assume there’s a business, a customer, a sale, and service of that customer, there are a few industry-specific pieces that are missing.

Take for example, that investors become customers by investing through legal entities the GP raises. It’s a subtle but important nuance that just doesn’t make sense at a platform-as-a-service level (because it’s overly complicated for a simple one-time sale that many industries require), but which can easily be added without 10 years or software engineering. Once provided, the rest of the platform’s components become tremendously powerful again and you’re set to take over the world.

As a traditional CRM in our pillars methodology, these nuances must be present to properly account for investors in these legal entities, potential target companies and which are owned by these entities, the context of all interactions with these parties (as well as the appropriate overlap, ie co-investments), and how you’re arriving at finding these opportunities on both sides of the equation, such that you’re able to piece together what’s effective and what’s not. Not just because we say so, but because these are the very relationships and data that are key to the motivation behind a CRM in any industry.

It’s critical, too, that the valuable publicly-available information that helps to enrich CRM systems and save users painful steps of entering it themselves is fully-integrated at the platform level.

Again, look no further than the 3,000+ pre-built integrations that — the creator of the CRM platform concept — has at a platform level to do so, and which only exists by way of holding just short of overly-specifying certain industry workflows that would present challenges to properly integrate.

Stakeholder reporting and communication (investor relations) draws on a range of datasets

The traditional “customer service” model of CRM systems once again makes overly-simplified assumptions about the customer relationship when applied to private capital markets.

In fifteen years I personally have yet to hear the terms “warranty” or “service call” in this market because it’s just not the same. But make no mistake, as uncomfortable as it may be to say aloud, customer service is more important now than ever and it’s constantly happening; the industry is, after all, considered to be a financial “service”.

As it turns out, that service is primarily information-based — it’s driven by data and takes the form of reports and analysis that drive decisions, and then end up again in investor-facing reports and analysis.

The foundational elements of a private capital markets CRM must be built such that they accommodate this data (like we discussed above), but so too that it can accommodate additional supporting data that investors (customers!) need in the context of service.

Oftentimes this supporting data — financial metrics and time-based values, for example — is believed not to meet the traditional definition of CRM and the natural thought is “well, better do this in Excel!”.

While I happen to believe Excel is still the greatest software application ever built, its introduction to this value chain we’ve discussed herein actually creates the problem many firms suffer from: key data needed to provide customer service (again: effectively the entirety of a firm’s reports and analysis) is now in disparate systems and detached.

Both of those dynamics are important and distinct: not only is this supplemental data disparate, but when brought together there is no logical association that can be made between the two data sets.

Allow me, then, to make the point very simply: not only can this financial and time-based value data (you may be thinking about is as “portfolio monitoring” or “accounting”) be a part of a CRM, it is arguably the most important part of a CRM because it’s at the core of what providing service to the customer entails — information that comes out of data!

Firms need a digital method to engage stakeholders (ie investor portals)

Investor portals are not new; in fact, for many of us — including myself — they conjure up horrifying nightmares in which we’re aimlessly guessing at folders to find the newest document we need.

So in lies the opportunity: not only have the portals we’ve come to hate not simplified the process of acquiring information, they’ve failed to create an entirely new experience that is “customer service” driven.

To be fair, this is not a B2C market where you’d be long out of business for not having focused on customer service and thus the customer’s technology-driven experience. But don’t expect to be around too much longer if you aren’t thinking about this shift.

Today’s institutional investors increasingly expect this same consumer-like experience, and a massive opportunity is being missed by not providing it. It’s not about providing them the experience they desire; it’s more about the ability to measure engagement that is had in return.

Put simply: what’s keeping the market from providing this experience is the availability of the information that’s required to create the service that provides the experience.

If you’ve hung in this long, you know that by focusing on your CRM, you have the data that’s required to manage the customer relationship and the technology-driven experience through which that information is shared to create a differentiated and opportunistic customer experience.

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