Digitalization of M&A processes: let´s talk about the data
Digitalization of M&A is about data and data analytics, but also about confidentiality, authorizations and access rights.
Establishing a clearly defined, phased, end-to-end M&A process with clearly defined tasks and roles in the different phases (seems obvious, but is not yet implemented, esp. in small and medium countries);
establishing a higher degree of automation of tasks (like automated analysis of contracts which needs all contracts to machine-readable), an important prerequisite is to have digital data as much as possible;
have one large data set along the end-to-end M&A process (to leverage big data analytics) and clear rules which data are safe to be accessed from the following phase.
So what can you achieve if all these prerequisites are fulfilled, here is my vision:
combine structured and unstructured data for unimagined insights : you have financial data, but are they solid and trustable? do the revenue numbers projected reflect the existing contracts with customers? In due diligene, by combining structured information (revenue forecast) with unstructured information (text in contracts, information about pipelines in the data room) you can easily compare both to establish additional trust or to ask tough questions.
leverage data across phases of the M&A process: there are restrictions which data from due diligence can be used in later phases. But the data that you can use from target screening and due diligence can be combined and compared with data. Current data you are looking at could be augmented with historical data automatically.
actionable insights across M&A projects: the data from all phases and all M&A projects can be used to determine actions in a specific situation. Based on machine learning, an automated assistant could propose what to do, what has been done in other projects in similar situations, could propose who to talk to to leverage the lessons learned from other projects.
So the call to action is: Unite your data on and end-to-end platform to build the foundation to leverage the data for better insights, better execution and more success in M&A processes.