• Financial Services
  • Intapp DealCloud

Top 5 ways technology enables PE firms to better leverage data

Gathering insights from data can yield tremendous returns for any firm, but only recently have private equity (PE) firms, family offices and other investor classes taken to the trend. Goal-oriented data programs have proven to provide private equity investors an edge over the competition and win more deals

In this article, we explore the key characteristics of the technology leveraged by leading PE firms in their pursuit of more reliable and actionable data that enhances business development, deal sourcing, and growth efforts. 

1. Export-able and shareable reporting

With hundreds of business development activities in a month, even small and boutique PE shops need to move their data from spreadsheets and emails to a CRM tool like Intapp DealCloud. No matter the size of the team, firms need the ability to export complex reports in order to share it with colleagues, portfolio companies, partners, investors, and others. Without this capability, firms waste time searching through files and pouring information into custom, underdeveloped reports. 

2. Easily augmented

While having proprietary data is valuable, having proprietary data AND purchased market data is ideal. That’s because relying on your own data no longer provides full coverage of the market. The most effective PE firms are leveraging technology that can both 1) upload decades worth of closely held, institutional data and 2) sync with data best of breed providers, such as DataFox and Sutton Place Strategies (SPS). Put simply, the seamless augmentation of CRM systems with outside data providers makes business development and investment decisions easier to make. 

3. Takes micro and macro views

When leveraging the right PE technology, firms are better equipped to organize their business development activities around the levers that are most important to them.  

For example, a firm’s data about the deals that have been received in the healthcare industry is only actionable if it can be used to zero-in on sub-sector add-on activity or to decipher which investment banks are the most active in that industry. Similarly, geographic data that lists all the industry conferences the firm has attended is only actionable if you can zoom out and look at all the regions and cities that have been missed.  

The ability to have your technology respond to the micro- and macro-level needs is no longer a “nice to have,” but rather a “must-have” to spend time most effectively and remain nimble to the ever-changing market

4. Flexes with the firm

As PE firms grow and change, it’s important that the firm’s technology grows as well. Formalizing your investor relations practices? Let your technology tell you which LPs need attention. Just increased your headcount? Optimize your technology so you can view the day-to-day activities of each of your team members. Want to spur new portfolio company growth? Allow the technology to alert you of new bolt-on opportunities or market movements by competitors.  

The most effective private equity firms use data to create new ideas, kick-start different approaches and support each of its team members.

5. Adjusts to any playbook 

Many PE firms use deal funnels to calculate how many deals need to be seen (top of the funnel) to hit closed deal targets (bottom of the funnel). These funnels look different firm to firm depending on deal size, deal type, industry specifications, etc.  

Whatever your firm’s deal process looks like, the technology that supports the process must look similar. This will make it much easier to both optimize the time spent at each stage of the playbook and help your team adjust should the playbook change. 


Especially in a competitive deal environment, PE firms need the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently. By leveraging technology that fits the specific needs of the firm and that allows for easy sharing and integration with third-party vendors, firms can gather more actionable insights from their data.