Big Data driving shareholder value

When considering a sale of your business in a year or more, can you shift its performance into a radically higher level?

To maximize proceeds for shareholders in a company sale, every effort should be expended to dramatically yet sustainably increase operational and financial performance well ahead of a sale.

Value Maximization (VMX) uses big data analytics to produce that valuation step change ahead of major M&A activity.

Our VMX group turns data assets you already own first into business intelligence, and then into shareholder value, primarily by increasing EBITDA. It is not unusual for our VMX team to drive EBITDA up by 25% within 6 months.

New sources of revenues are discovered, decisions are made faster and better, work is done more efficiently and cost-effectively.

We stand behind our capabilities and put our money where our mouth is. If we don’t deliver tangible results, we don’t get paid.

Transformative Results

For many in the mid-market, big data analytics feels out-of-reach, inapplicable for smaller companies. But the tools and techniques large companies use are extremely powerful for businesses of all sizes. Big data provides a new lens through which a thorny challenge can be viewed and solved. Here are some examples of what VMX can do; each of these clients previously thought ‘big data’ was something they should investigate, but did not know where to start:

  • For a software distributor, who sought to optimize the pricing of its products and the incentives of its salesforce, a 15% run-rate EBITDA increase in 3 months
  • For a beverage software platform who sought to expand and sell its software in other sectors, an exit at an attractive valuation to a strategic that was in one of these sector

Techniques & tools

Our VMX team uses best-in-class technologies and methodologies to analyze and curate data, produce actionable insights and push shareholder value up:



Is VMX right for you?

I know my business well, I'm skeptical that 'big data' can really help me.

How can data scientists really understand how to optimize a maintenance schedule for a truck fleet, or how to up-sell existing customers on products they already know about, just by looking at a spreadsheet? It’s entirely reasonable to question this. However, most of the best companies around these days got to where they are in large part because they mine their data for profit optimization opportunities.

Market dynamics in big data plainly reflects the value big data offers to businesses:

59% of organizations adopted big data before 2019; less than 10% of respondents have no plans to use big data at all.

Tableau, a data visualization & analytics leader, sold to Salesforce for US$15.3 billion, or 13x revenue.

In 2018, Big Data as a Service was valued at US$9 billion, and is expected to grow to US$32 billion by 2024 (CAGR = 24.5%)

How does VMX work?

PHASE 1: Establish a baseline & make initial recommendations

  • Define questions to be answered
  • Obtain and cleanse data (internal and external)
  • Agree on key metric(s) for baseline
  • Use advanced tools and techniques to analyze data and formulate initial recommendations
  • Suggest improvements to data infrastructure & governance

PHASE 2: Iterate, monitor, & improve performance

  • Help operationalize Phase 1 recommendations
  • Actively monitor movement in new data and financials for insights & progress
  • Assist in implementing data governance & infrastructure improvements

What types of data does VMX utilize?

We combine and analyze large amounts of internal and external data sources, for example, power usage on a CNC machine, store foot traffic, credit card transactions, StatsCan surveys and GPS data and mileage. Combined, these data sets, and the ability to parse through them, can help you gain a solid understanding of your business, in search for patterns that will give you the analytical edge. We deal with these complexities, so you don’t have to.

Don't I need to have some relevant data resources in place / some capabilities, to get started?

We have the technology platforms and the people to deliver, so the biggest question mark is the quality of your internal data.  A very common component of a VMX engagement is to upgrade and curate internal data. That said, in most cases, weak internal data sets can be augmented with external data sources to achieve similar results as though internal data were available.
Overall, VMX augments your team and provides you with access to techniques used by the likes of Uber and Amazon. Think of us as a natural extension of your team, adding deep insights to your own knowledge and experience.

Do you have an assessment tool I can use?

We absolutely do! You can take our Mid-Market Comparative Data Maturity Score Assessment survey.

The CDMSMM survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and provides a measure of how effective mid-market organizations are at leveraging data and analytics to power their business models. The CDMSMM is restricted to mid-market organizations, to ensure comparability in the answers (specifically, it excludes start-ups and large companies).

Market Insights
From the archives: October 2020

A Comparative Data Maturity Score for the Mid-Market: How do you stack up?
"Data is the new oil."  By now, most have heard this quote dating back to 2006 and credited to British mathematician Clive Humby, who…

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Case Studies

Software Distribution
Our client, a software distributor, sought to optimize the pricing of its products and the incentives of its salesforce . Within the 3-month duration of the VMX exercise, EBITDA run-rate increased by 15%, with visibility into more increases down the road.

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Beverage & Alcohol
Our client was searching for new sources of revenue as it faced increased competition in its core business. FirePower's VMX team identified an attractive new sector, and our client entered it. Largely due to its efforts in that new sector, our client was subsequently acquired at an extremely compelling valuation.

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Last Call Analytics
When FirePower first met Last Call Analytics, the company was building custom big data analytics and visualization software platforms for frontline sales staff, primarily of beverage & alcohol distributors, but also for clients in other industries.  Last Call needed capital to grow, as well as strategic guidance to develop a stronger revenue model and focused direction. FirePower invested both capital and hard work, shifting the revenue model, focusing its resources, and ultimately, helping the company achieve its potential.

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We engaged FirePower to support our acquisition strategy: expanding verticals, adding scale to operations and strengthening F12’s presence nationally. As it turned out, we couldn’t have asked for a more hardworking team. FirePower’s perseverance building relationships with prospective targets, either directly or through their advisors, helped create awareness of F12’s interest in acquiring strong companies across Canada.
Alex Webb, CEO, Inc.