Part 1 of our series on social media looked at
how new technologies have started infiltrating the M&A
landscape. But the question we aim to answer here is: to what
A recent article in the Wall Street
Journal considered just that, noting that new technologies
– and specifically data analytic technologies – can be
used at various stages throughout the M&A lifecycle as a means
of bolstering deal analysis and business forecasting.
While their processes can take many
forms, data analytics effectively afford companies an advanced
means of aggregating, synthesizing and modeling complex information
with a view to revealing trends, confirming or invalidating
hypotheses, exposing alternatives and/or reinforcing decision
making. JR Reagan, leader of the Deloitte Analytics HIVE (Highly Immersive Visual Environment),
was interviewed as part of the Wall Street Journal article and had
the following to say about how data analytics can improve
Companies are increasingly turning to
analytics to address such needs as how to gather information
internally, how to develop a database to compare various aspects of
the deal, such as financials and other issues. M&A is an area
where data analytics can play a valuable role, particularly given
the time constraints that deal professionals face in an M&A
This analytic capacity is an essential
component for almost any corporate project and not surprisingly, it
is also a hallmark of the deal-making process. We're using
analytics on almost every deal and in almost every stage, from
customer and vendor analysis, to pricing realignment and even
post-merger workforce planning.
Deloitte isn't the only company to
have jumped on board the data analytics bandwagon. According
to its survey, nearly 60% of the respondent companies either
already use data analytics in their deal-making processes or are
Most often, the product of data
analytics is used to research or vet a target company or to assist
with due diligence, but such information can also used for more
general purposes such as identifying industry patterns, predicting
future trends, and scrutinizing the customers and/or markets of
competitor or targeted companies.
While there is unlikely to be any move
towards replacing basic human judgment and analysis with data
analytics in M&A, analytic technologies are readily available
to businesses and can be a valuable complement to traditional deal
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