How can private equity firms benefit from accessibility, interactivity, and visualization of their data?
A recent article published by FundFire reported that private equity managers are dramatically ramping up initiatives around how data is accessed and used in order to gather more accurate information and make better business decisions. And yet, industry reports and trends are telling us that data is among the most significant operational challenge that firms are facing.
Having faster and simpler access to data is quickly becoming a priority for firms. Currently, there is an inability to access and use the data they have. This is largely due to a few factors. First, the process of acquiring data, then organizing, storing, accessing, analyzing, and reporting on it is definitely harder than it sounds.
When you look at this process across firms, many are still relying on data in spreadsheets for the majority of these steps. This means that a lot of extra time, resources, expertise, version control issues, and risk exists in the data collection, organization, storage, and analysis process. These factors make it far more complicated than it should be to answer critical data questions. Read our post on 10 Reasons Why Using Excel for Fund Management Doesn’t Work.
For the last 10 to 20 years, private equity firms have been active in using technology to generate data, and more recently, to consume additional sources of data. We’re at a point where older firms have accumulated data much less methodically than firms that are starting out today, and this reveals several important considerations:
- Firms that have been in business longer have ended up with multiple systems along the way, and there are often no integration points between those systems.
- Those systems, on their own, are often times not capable of doing much with the data within them, nor are they capable of performing the complex analyses that are now needed.
- The capabilities of modern technology within the realm of data (what’s possible to query, management of large volumes of data, and making sense of all the data) are not things that have been built into systems that firms have accumulated.
In a nutshell, people have systems that don’t interact even though they’re relevant to each other. Firms would like to look at the data within them together, but there are tremendous inefficiencies with trying to bring those systems together, showing a lack of capabilities of these tools on their own. Private equity firms need a solution that pulls all of these disparate systems together to provide relevant, accessible information and analysis. That’s exactly where Altvia Answers comes in.
The Answers to your data management problems
Altvia developed Answers, our business intelligence tool, to help private equity firms eliminate the many challenges they’re experiencing with their data management processes. In developing Answers, we focused on the problems that people had, and how we could solve those problems in a way that helps eliminate human error and compliance risks. Technology is at the core of this product in terms of how problems are solved, freeing up teams to focus on more human-centric work.
Answers is a solution that solves the entire chain of these issues by bringing your data together from disparate sources into one place. It then models the information to establish a single source of truth for all of your data across all of your systems. It does this by connecting to the data systems you already have in place, simplifying the process by not requiring you to export or upload information.
Most importantly, Answers provides firms with the ability for users to interact with their data across systems in very intuitive ways and on any device. It eliminates the need for highly skilled, IT-centric resources that would historically have spent weeks at a time developing an analysis. And it does it automatically in the cloud, so there is no need to embark on manual, time consuming, and error-prone processes.
Answers in the real world
There was once a private equity firm that had a vision to provide a service that was highly differentiated, unique, and superior to their competition. This vision was not only compelling but also very different from their competition. But they needed a software solution that would help them accomplish it.
They spent nearly two years assessing vendors trying to find one that could deliver the requirements they needed for this particular service. After assessing dozens of vendors, they found a few that came very close to their criteria, but there was always something missing from the bigger picture. That is when they came across Altvia and Answers.
With Altvia Answers, they were able to identify the best-in-class solutions across the entire chain of systems involved in executing their vision and integrate them into one platform. This allowed them to use the best CRM solution for their needs, and then put Answers on top to connect their entire system.
Now entirely connected, this system provides the firm with a single place for business users to go to find and understand data across their organization and system. After a lengthy assessment of many different vendors, Altvia Answers provided them with a revolutionary concept that confirmed it is a complete solution to these problems.
The many benefits of Altvia Answers
Altvia Answers is designed to make working with data painless, easy, less error-prone, and independent of specific resources or wrong, miscalculated or outdated data. Business users can get real-time data in three clicks, rather than three weeks. This allows teams to focus on finding new investment opportunities and prospects. In working with our clients, we’ve seen three main benefits that using Answers can provide to your private equity firm.
1. It helps position your firm as an industry leader
Imagine how the relationships with your clients would change if you went from “we’ll send you a statement in the mail every so often” to “you don’t even need to pick up the phone to ask us, you can just access the info that’s relevant to you in real time, at anytime.” Answers allows you to not just consume data across your system internally, but also to begin to allow your clients to access important, real-time data themselves. And it displays this information in an intuitive, efficient, interactive and engaging way.
2. It helps your firm surpass the competition
Operational challenges differ between firms, but can largely be boiled down to an increase in demand for reporting—financial reporting, regulatory reporting, investor reporting, and so on. In spite of differences between firms, data is what drives much of the process, along with relationships with customers and investors. In financial reporting, for example, this means ensuring that data is accessible, consumable and workable so that you can understand your business and therefore make competent decisions on how it’s run.
Answers is the future of differentiation. It provides private equity firms the ability to not only answer the questions that people are asking, but to allow them to ask questions and answer them themselves as well.
We believe that not only can you differentiate by optimizing your firm’s operationally competency, but that you can take it further and start to enable your customers, investors or constituents to self-serve. That’s not something a lot of people are doing yet, and it provides the level of differentiation that people in our industry are chasing.
3. It can have a snowball effect on your whole business structure
Altvia Answers helps provide more efficient internal operations that are more organized and more systematic. Our clients find that this efficiency snowballs throughout the organization. It, in turn, provides new capabilities to investors, which strengthens their relationships and positions them as industry leaders.
With the many challenges facing private equity firms today, wrestling with data and different systems that don’t talk with each other doesn’t need to be one of them. Altvia’s extensive experience in the private equity industry uniquely positions us to develop the best tools and solutions for firms.
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