Thought Leadership

Publish Date

Jan 19, 2021

Why 2021 Will Be a Game-Changing Year for Transaction Analytics

Steven Lee, Managing Director | Abhinav Agarwal, Senior Director

Region: North America

A few years ago, deep analytical capability through deal processes was seen as a ‘nice-to-have’. It is safe to say that this is no longer the case: transaction analytics is an essential component of buy-side and sell-side playbooks today.

As we move into 2021, we expect different factors to combine to make transaction analytics even more critical for effective due diligence and eventual deal success. Below are a few key themes we expect to characterise the fast-moving transaction analytics space over the coming 12 months.

Starting the process early

In our experience, sellers are beginning their groundwork on data well before they formally kick off a sale process, with an eye on maximising value and removing uncertainty wherever possible.

Potential buyers now expect to be able to leverage highly granular data. Sellers that have not adjusted to this new baseline expectation should expect prolonged processes and more complex conversations.

Better preparation is highly beneficial to all stakeholders, particularly in light of the market volatility created by COVID-19 (see below). This emphasis on starting early reflects how important robust data analytics is to the efficiency of a deal process, and we expect this trend to accelerate further over the next 12 months.

COVID-19 aftereffects

Incorporating advanced analytics into transactions was already a growth trend, but it has built even more momentum thanks to COVID-19. With pre-pandemic assumptions on underlying performance and stability now highly questionable, it is harder than ever to arrive at authoritative performance forecasts and operational metrics. Analytics can help deliver greater certainty when it comes to the numbers, potentially easing the concerns of buyers and sellers.

Almost every diligence exercise we see at A&M now includes a COVID component. Investors are asking: how did the management team respond to the pandemic? Did the operating model prove resilient? What customer or product groups were most significantly impacted? Answering these questions effectively depends on the robustness and specificity of data, which is now seen as a necessity by potential buyers…

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