Data Management, BI Roadmap for Private Equity Client

Firm needs internal visibility and technology solutions to keep pace with rapid growth

OVERVIEW

A global private equity firm with more than $34 billion in assets and several investment platforms needed to address some challenges related to their current technology environment, infrastructure, and business applications. Their primary headache? Reporting – which was complicated and inefficient.

The firm engaged Saxony Partners to evaluate the current state of their technology and devise a roadmap for a optimal future state. The goal was to align the current technology and business intelligence environment with established best practices, to develop a more independent IT infrastructure, and to create a plan that solves for both current pain points and future growth needs.

THE PROJECT

The Saxony team began with the discovery phase, interviewing key employees both at the firm and at third-party stakeholders. We mapped out the current technology ecosystem and documented decisions and tasks that factor into BI and reporting processes.

The discovery phase revealed some key shortcomings related to people, process, and technology. The IT staff was under-resourced and under-trained. Only a handful of people truly knew how to work within the current technology environment – a risk if any of those people decided to leave the company. The technology itself was limited to only some members of the business team, was not fully integrated, and was inadequate to meet the firm’s needs.

These deficiencies combined to make quarterly reporting an excruciating, time consuming chore. Data was siloed in various systems and software, and none of it was clearly tracible from one system to another. Much of the reporting had to be done manually in order to obtain accurate and up-to-date data.

These findings were synthesized into a draft strategy, which was shared with company leaders. Collaboratively, the strategic initiatives included in the draft were prioritized and sequenced, and the results were built into an overall roadmap.

Saxony’s roadmap established a formal BI program with priorities, scope, and a comprehensive plan. A key element of that plan was identifying and placing senior staff for the firm’s IT department – which we helped do.

Data strategy – aggregation, access, and integrity – is perhaps the most critical factor in ensuring accurate, actionable reporting. Saxony built the foundational components of a data warehouse that adequately supported the firm’s current needs but could also evolve as the company continued to expand. Into that single source of truth, we integrated nearly a dozen key internal systems, external data sources, and other administrative and accounting inputs.

THE RESULTS

The client was able to solve persistent data access and integrity issues which, in turn, drastically improved reporting efficiency and expanded their reporting capabilities.

  • The client was able to conduct accurate, credible quarterly reporting in a timely manner

  • A Saxony-designed semantic layer built into the new data warehouse allowed for ad-hoc reporting with a level of detail previously unattainable

  • Data transparency improved, enabling unprecedented strategic analysis

  • Automation eliminated manual steps from the reporting process

  • Business users finally had the self-service capabilities they had long desired

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