The term “big data” has been in use for well over a decade now. At Altvia, our first exposure to it may have been in 2009 when an investor we were working with explained their reasoning for investing in a company called TripIt.
His investment thesis was around what he referred to as “data exhaust”—massive data sets that were being generated (or could be generated) but were being stored in odd formats or were not being ingested at all, in many instances.
For TripIt, the exhaust came in the form of email confirmations from travel companies. It’s a familiar process:
- You book a flight and a hotel for your upcoming trip
- The airline and hotel each send you an email confirmation
- You review the information to confirm everything is correct
- You’re good to go
But think of all the valuable data that the process generates. And imagine all of the interesting things you could learn from it if you made it your practice to migrate data to the right systems!
Data Exhaust and Your Organization: Do You Migrate Data to Maintain Its Value?
The connection between the story above and you is that your organization certainly generates valuable data exhaust as well. Often, it’s found in Excel workbooks and other electronic formats. It may even be found in printed term sheets, financial statements, capital account statements, and partnership agreements.
But wherever it resides, there’s a good chance that the data isn’t telling you anything. That’s because you don’t migrate data to where it can be used effectively. It’s not organized in a way that makes it accessible and understandable, and consequently, you’re failing to capitalize on its value.
In today’s competitive business environment, ignoring an asset that can give you an advantage is a big mistake!
Successful Firms Migrate Data to Predict Patterns
The benefit of collecting and storing big data is that you can use it to piece together stories and predict patterns. And while the quantity of data your firm collects and generates may not rise to the level of “big data,” it still can tell important stories and point to crucial trends.
For example, what good is having all the liquidation preferences for each of the deals you’ve looked at over the last 15 years if you’re not using that information to guide your decision-making? The answer is that it’s not much good at all.
Those details could be helping to paint a clear picture for you, but instead, your vision remains blurry. And, again, not only does this hurt your performance, but if your competitors are migrating their data to the right systems and using it more effectively than you, they’re empowered to make better decisions faster.
Want to Differentiate? Migrate Your Data.
The flip side of the example above is one where you migrate data to an advanced, purpose-built solution that helps you organize and manage it efficiently and effectively. Imagine having your data stored in data sets that you could use to cross-reference deal terms with the valuations of each of those companies and then look only at Silicon Valley-based companies that were pre-revenue?
That’s making good use of valuable information. Not only would it impress your LPs when you share it with them, but the data set may also contain insightful identifiers of certain trends that could help you make better investment decisions.
And, of course, word gets around. Developing a reputation as a firm that knows how to squeeze every bit of value out of the data it gathers can set you apart from others and earn you access to more deals and more-profitable relationships.
Migrate Data to Altvia: It’s Easy
It’s no exaggeration to say that transforming your data exhaust into workable, structured data sets can transform your firm. Our clients will attest to that, as will several of our Altvia team members who can speak to that fact from past private equity experience.
And, don’t let the phrase “migrate data” intimidate you. The process isn’t as challenging or time-consuming as some people think. Getting data into our AIM private capital CRM solution is a straightforward and streamlined operation—and one where we can provide all the guidance you need. The key is to recognize that you’re wasting your data exhaust and that it’s time to migrate data to a system designed to maximize its value. Then, after you get a demo of our software, the path forward becomes very well-defined.