There’s a new phase in the mergers and acquisition deal cycle: big data analytics. Never before has it been easier to get an overview of the health of a target business or organisation.
Thanks to readily available big data online and increasingly advanced AI technology, you can scope out your target quickly and with more precision than ever.
Businesses are taking advantage of new data analytics tools to back intuition with hard data and aid with decision making during M&A transitions.
In this article, we cover the benefits and uses of freely available big data during mergers and acquisitions.
Get a Headstart on Mergers and Acquisitions With Big Data Analytics
During the merger or acquisition process, there is a lot of waiting around while commercially sensitive data is carefully managed, a clean team is set up to comply with antitrust laws and legal counsel is sought to provide guidance.
Analysing this kind of data also requires you to adhere to strict limitations, so even when the data is available, you need to be extra cautious in how you use it. Not ideal.
However, M&A consultancies are waking up to the fact that there is also a wealth of public, non-sensitive data freely accessible online on social media, review sites and forums.
This data is full of useful and accurate insights about the target company’s brand health, and user feedback about their products and services – all vital information for the due diligence process.
Identify challenges and opportunities
Big data helps you to quickly get up to speed with the challenges and opportunities faced by the target company of your merger or acquisition.
Use customer sentiment analysis to discover the most common customer pain points. Delve deeper by subtopic to find out exactly what users are saying.
Customer sentiment can also reveal key selling points. What are the main reasons consumers are choosing the target company over their main competitors?
Since all the data is publicly available you can use the same parameters to conduct competitor analysis. Find out which brands in the target’s industry have the largest share of voice by comparing brand mentions. Look at brand mentions over time to identify key moments in the industry, for example, notable campaigns, PR successes and disasters, etc. Find out whether the target’s brand mentions are generally trending upwards or are they in decline.
Find out whether the target company is a good match with the company you’re evaluating. Does the target company successfully market a desired niche of customers? Do they have specific talent or assets that could add significant value to the potential partner/parent company? While publicly available big data might not be able to tell you the precise value of the assets, user feedback can give you strong indicators as to the successes and challenges faced by the target company.
What kind of workforce are you likely to inherit through your merger or acquisition? Use big data on employee review sites such as Glass Door to assess employee satisfaction. Just as with consumer sentiment, Symanto uses natural language processing (NLP) to measure how employees perceive every facet of the target organisation.
You may discover that the employees invest in training and development, creating a skilled (and therefore more valuable) workforce. You may discover that employees are leaving because they don’t feel adequately compensated, which implies that there would need to be a significant investment to prevent employee churn.
Going through the merger process is like wading through honey. Everything slows as decisions are made and new priorities are set. By using big data analytics to get a headstart on the mergers and acquisitions process, you can bring forward important decisions such as deliberating on product development and aligning on agendas so that you’re ready to hit the ground running when the deal closes.
And time is more precious than ever. Given the premiums paid for target companies nowadays, there’s increasing pressure for partners to create as much value as possible from deals to deliver on targets set, and meet commitments made to the board and investors.
Instigate a Data-Driven Mindset Early in the M&A Process
Symanto AI technology is a great way to introduce data-driven analytics into the M&A process. The platform is intuitively designed for ease of use. From data collection to interactive data visualisations, we’ve designed everything to be straightforward to use, even for the most change-averse employees.
Decision-making benefits from the objectivity of hard data, and throughout the M&A process, there are plenty of decisions to be made. It’s wise to get stakeholders accustomed to using data analytics early on in proceedings.
Get Started with Symanto Insights
Get in touch to find out more about how Symanto technologies can help you make sense of big data for mergers and acquisitions.