Historically technology and talent were primary assets used to weigh the value of M&A activity, but data is an equal pillar. Buyers (the acquiring organizations) face enormous responsibility and risk with M&A transactions. C-suite leaders have a lot to consider—enterprise-wide technology, finances, operations, facilities, talent, processes, workflows, etc.—during the due diligence process. But attention is often heavily weighted toward time-honored balance sheet and facility assets rather than next-generation assets with the long-term strategic value in the M&A process: data. The model for conducting due diligence around data involves four disciplines:
- Establish the strategic objectives of the M&A with the leadership team.
- Prioritize data along with the standardization of solutions and the design of a new IT organization (i.e., a co-equal effort for data, tools, and talent).
- Identify the near-term data strategic priorities, stakeholders, and tools.
- Assess the talent and consider creating an analytics center of excellence (ACOE) to harness organizational capabilities.