The deal and data

22 June 2015

by Matthew Linehan Manager

I recently attended an internal event at which I had the opportunity to meet colleagues from across PwC. Meeting people from other parts of the firm gave me a fresh perspective and a chance to reflect on my own role. Working in Transaction Services and being an active member of the Data and Analytics community, I find myself at a confluence of two environments: the deal and the data.

A deal environment is one of rapid change, requiring a balance of immediate tactical agility and longer-term strategic understanding. Data and analytics is a disruptive section of the market. Business users successfully leverage advancements in technology to create value in fresh, innovative ways. So how can data and analytics add value in a deal environment?

Time pressure is a persistent challenge in a transaction. Traditional analysis and presentation software packages can be constrained by limitations on volume and speed. In contrast, modern data and analytics technologies make short work of large, organised datasets. Interactive visualisation tools can fluidly generate different views of the data in seconds. A static perspective is transformed into a dynamic interaction; presentation becomes conversation. Discovering the answers in your data helps you to tell and define the narrative of your organisation.

While this additional speed and power can facilitate the transaction process, there is a longer-term benefit too. Immediately following a deal there is a window of opportunity to consolidate positive change. By leveraging the learnings from the transaction, the insight flows through into this post-deal period. Richer understanding breeds faster, more constructive change.

This is not just a question of looking retrospectively at the deal. Certain technologies come into their own in the post-deal environment. Agile, cloud-based planning software, for example, can be employed effectively in developing a robust strategic roadmap. Technologies in this field consolidate common elements, affording users time to focus on detail and handle complexity. The upside is increased efficiency and accuracy, and the ability to make real-time decisions.

In his Ted Talk, ‘The beauty of data visualization’, David McCandless describes data as, ‘the new soil, a fertile, creative medium’. This metaphor resonates—especially with a deal. By bringing bleeding-edge data and analytics technology into a dynamic, fast-paced situation, we allow fresh ideas to flourish. Deal volume was up 50% in Q1 2015 on the same period last year; the market is prime for innovation. For those still wondering why the ‘data’ and ‘analytics’ buzzwords are on everyone’s lips, there has never been a better time to join the conversation.

David McCandless’ Ted Talk can be viewed by clicking the following link:

If you would like to discuss these issues, or the impact of emerging technology or data and analytics on your industry, then contact our Data & Analytics team.

by Matthew Linehan Manager