Transparency is more important than ever in the world today. It provides access to information that does not change with regard to the viewpoint or the personality of the broadcaster. Many modern companies use BI systems in their daily activities, but it is very rare for investors to plunge into these systems. In the best case, they are reviewed once at the due diligence stage and later reduced to simple reporting forms such as an excel spreadsheet. Even if the investor’s representatives have access to the BI system of their portfolio company, the information requires system updates and data analysis, and only works effectively when this process is automated. AIRR is one of the first services to give the investor direct insight into his portfolio in real-time.
How is the necessary information from portfolio companies collected today?
1 Level — Traditional. Request for data in a pre-agreed form in word/excel/pdf, etc.
2 Level — Manual access to the BI system of a portfolio company. Investor immersion in portfolio company BI system and manual data collection.
3 Level — Automatic system of collecting analytics in AIRR. Operating metrics of portfolio companies are available for investors in real-time all from one portal.
What does an AIRR user get?
- Transparency and trust due to a lack of manipulation possibilities
- Time-saving for all participants of the investment monitoring process
- Ability to respond quickly to any changes in current finances and other operating metrics
A little bit of theory...
What are BI systems and why are they needed?
BI systems – a segment of products for the analysis of large volumes of information in order to translate transactional business information into a human-readable form. The result of the analysis is traditionally for the purpose of business decision making.
There are four main areas of BI:
- Storage of data. Data storage in a BI system (data warehouse, DW).
- Data integration. ETL tools are used to form and maintain data warehouses – tools that provide data extraction (extract), transformation (transform), and uploading (load) of data into the storage or into another database.
- Data analysis. OLAP (online analytical processing) tools are used for comprehensive data analysis, which allows you to aggregate large amounts of data and read composite metrics on a large data set, and OLTP tools (Online Transaction Processing), which allow you to quickly work with simple operations.
- Data representation. Various graphical tools – reports, charts, graphs, etc. – are used for data presentation.
BI systems solve two main tasks:
- Analytics. These systems allow you to work with data, extract it, transform it, identify trends, and dependencies.
- Reporting. The task of such systems is to collect and present the available information. Usually, BI systems are used in investment activities, offering a convenient tool for data visualization.
Our goal with AIRR is to simplify and automate all business processes related to direct investment management. This is the most opaque and least understood area of investment management. A significant part of these business processes is related to the monitoring of the investment portfolio. Information presented in a visual format is more effective than the flow of figures and text, it is understood much more easily and saves a lot of time when making important operational decisions. The visualization of investment process data, and especially the business and financial performance of portfolio companies, save time for the investor. It also helps portfolio companies skip unnecessary bureaucracy when it comes to information exchange with investors. Financial directors of portfolio companies make their life a lot easier by integrating with AIRR, as there is no need to do reporting, to fill in an infinite number of additional documents, to answer hundreds of emails with identical questions every month. In his turn, the investor sees the information flow from a portfolio company at the same time as the company management in the BI system. As a result, an additional level of transparency, reliability, and timeliness of information is created.
AIRR is an open platform that allows importing and exporting all data flows necessary for the investment process. When choosing partners for integration, we choose the largest companies whose products are already used by our clients and their portfolio companies. Microsoft, Qlik, Tableau, Looker have become market leaders in Business Intelligence systems. Particularly noted is the progress of Microsoft, whose Power BI solution, based on cloud computing, machine learning, and Cortana voice interface proved to be both powerful and a simple solution for users.
AIRR offers the ability to embed Power BI reports into the portal and integrate any portfolio company data into the daily investment process. Users can also export data from AIRR if required to create custom reports based on the entire fund data set.
Prepared based on interviews with Natalia Chykina and Gleb Davidyuk.