“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford
Middle market private equity firms share a common denominator: their portfolio companies rely on a menagerie of software platforms to manage finances, sales, locations, product lines, services categories, ad nauseum.
As “Business Intelligence” (i.e., data analytics and dashboards) plays an ever-increasing role in day-to-day business, the systems for harnessing your data are increasingly accessible. Data collection is no longer the most challenging piece of the data puzzle – separating signal from noise, and communicating insights that trigger better decisions and increase focus is where the real value lies. Unless your dashboards “touch a nerve,” compelling users to adopt BI as part of their daily routine, your investment will go to waste. And according to Gartner, that goal can be elusive, with over 60% of BI initiatives failing to meet the goals of the business.
Complex logistics, multiple data sources, tight order-to-cash timelines . . . for virtually every manufacturer, these stressors constantly plague production and profitability. Managers are bombarded daily with issues that demand prioritization and agile adjustments. To meet that demand, managers must wrangle data from disparate sources, with limited resources and little margin for error.
Private Equity investors make investment decisions based on balance sheets and P&L statements – typically in Excel, the tried-and-true tool of choice. Yet most firms struggle to keep up with running the real-time reporting race needed to move companies forward, post-acquisition. Portfolio companies are often saddled with multiple ERP systems and fragmented financial and operational data. Too many reports originate from too many disparate sources, and there’s too little time to separate signal from noise.