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How to Manage Data after Mergers and Acquisitions? A Problem-Solution Guide

Managing data after mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a real headache. Most of you are familiar with the situation when you need to combine information from multiple warehouses and then implement a new tool for data processing. We, at Rozdoum, have been through the M&A process a few times. 

We know that the company should be more agile at the pre-M&A analysis and the post-M&A data integration stages in order to make the merge process smooth. Therefore, this problem-solution guide will give you ideas which measures need to be taken in order to avoid data leaks and time losses after M&A.

Your main challenge after M&A

In fact, the main challenge depends on how complex your company’s structure is and how many projects you run. After M&A you will need to combine all these projects with those of the other company, and work out corporate plans and schedules. The workflows usually vary across companies. Therefore, you need to synchronize them and all the activity details as well. 

Data mismanagement is the main challenge that you will encounter after mergers and acquisitions. It is critically important to integrate all records into one repository, and create a working and flexible structure for the newly merged projects. The management process should be streamlined, understandable and workable.

Let's look at this problem in more detail. By ‘data mismanagement’, we understand a number of serious issues that prevent the joint projects from functioning properly: 

  1. data may be inconsistent or outdated; 
  2. it can be stored in several places;
  3. you may face data compliance issues; 
  4. two merged structures may be completely incompatible.

Projects that face merging can be at different development stages. They can also be maintained using different project management tools. This mismatch may lead to data loss, exposure or leak. 

Arranging project’s data

In order to avoid data loss after M&A, you need to start the process of creating a new knowledge base. This is where you will run into 3 major issues.

  1. Migrating data to a single database

Migration is a complex process that requires a clear strategy. A goal without a plan is a waste of time. The strategy you choose depends on many factors, including the allocated budget for migration, and human resources.

Let’s say, you need to merge two products (or projects). Most often, you need to transfer information from two sources to a single repository, saving all the connections and schemas. User activities in two applications should now be recorded in one aggregate database and stored in a clear form. However, it’s not that easy and here’s why:

  • Records in the two repositories can be stored and managed in different ways;
  • The quality of data can vary greatly;
  • Management technologies and strategies may be different;
  • Various ERP systems can be used;
  • Different warehouses (with diverse SKUs) can be implemented;
  • Different project management tools are applied.

In order to avoid committing large resources to these problems, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Create a team of specialists. This group should contain people from both organizations. IT specialists should have extensive experience in data merging in order to solve the problems or take advantage of the opportunities that may arise. Given that the task is a top priority, the team needs to be able to communicate problems directly to the СIO or CEO since time is the key factor during the merge.
  2. Perform an audit. A team of specialists should conduct an audit in order to determine the current state of affairs and the future model of the combined data. The audit will allow specialists to assess the possible risks and understand who manages data and how it is stored. All values should follow a single pattern. Both companies must be audited in order to determine which records will be crucial in the merged company.
  3. Agree on a new management system. It is critical for a team of specialists to choose a new system where the combined data will be stored. Ideally, this data management system should save important data from all sources in a clear and convenient format. To make this work, specialists first need to come to an understanding of what values and what data are key to the new product, and where this information will be stored. 
  4. Set up the data control processes. Within the merged organization, there will now be a demand for new management policies and procedures to guarantee accountability, transparency, and compliance. 
  5. Important: Don’t forget to create a back-up copy of both companies’ key data values. The best solution is to continue maintaining records within the old and the newly merged databases for some time. This will help you to make the migration process smooth and refer to the old databases if necessary.

       2. Consolidating data

The consolidation procedure is the next big problem you will encounter. It is a complex process since data is input in many ways and stored in various forms. Consolidation is designed to combine it and remove any possible deviations.

The consolidating procedure isn’t universal and differs across businesses, institutions, and projects. Here are a few techniques to use:

  • Manual coding. This procedure is performed by data technicians in order to aggregate information from various roots. Usually, this work requires a lot of time, resources and man-hours.
  • Open-source solutions This software helps businesses integrate and merge data at a relatively low cost. It ensures greater versatility but demands much time and advanced experience in coding.
  • Cloud computing solutions. One of the best options for consolidating data is to use cloud-based tools. These instruments are designed to make the process more scalable and faster. Thus, you will have a shared pool of complete and accurate records, which you can access anytime via any repository convenient for you. Also, due to the fact that computing takes place in the cloud, you don’t need to use expensive equipment to complete the process.

      3. Managing data from multiple projects within one tool 

As mentioned above, the records in different databases can vary greatly in their quality, functionality and storage method. In order to successfully manage them from several projects, you could use a relevant application like WatchTower. Based on Atlassian's Jira, this app is designed to help you collect issues from various projects within one agile environment. It is important to understand that the merged companies or teams may use different task trackers. Nevertheless, when it comes to managing the merged projects, you still need to clearly understand how the work is going on. Swift and easy access to the tasks and progress reports is an essential element in management. And this is where applications like WatchTower will be crucially useful. 

A final word

The Mergers & Acquisitions process is a real challenge for businesses. It is impossible to hedge against all potential problems at the post-M&A stage. The merged companies continue facing the mismanaged data problem. However, today many tools allow businesses to effectively monitor the workflow and perform accurate data management of two or more projects within a single environment. 

1 comment

SriKumar P Atlassian Team Jan 30, 2020

@Andrey Dekhtyar _Rozdoum_ 

A Good Write up 

 

-Sri

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