Building a cutting-edge
platform to collect data
Invest Europe is the association representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors.
The association’s members take a long-term approach to investing in privately held companies, from start-ups to established firms. They inject not only capital but dynamism, innovation and expertise. This commitment helps deliver strong and sustainable growth, resulting in healthy returns for Europe’s leading pension funds and insurers, to the benefit of the millions of European citizens who depend on them.
Invest Europe supports and empowers its members by providing the most authoritative source of data on trends and developments in the industry.
Achieving this means implementing advanced solutions for collecting and analyzing data from thousands of private equity funds. And it’s here where Stefanini comes in.
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Having implemented an industry-leading platform for Invest Europe in 2007, Stefanini was called upon to replicate this success when building an enhanced platform that could be used by private equity and venture capital associations across Europe, who were joining forces as a European Data Cooperative.
This meant building a sophisticated bespoke platform, managing access rights correctly and collating a significant amount of quantitative and qualitative data.
Here’s how Stefanini rose to the challenge, supporting Invest Europe in providing the most comprehensive view of the private equity sector in Europe.
Comprehensive and cutting-edge
Because Invest Europe is committed to providing its members with a comprehensive overview of the private equity landscape, the association had embarked on a joint initiative with key national associations in the private equity and venture capital sectors.
Invest Europe was already a strong advocate for Stefanini based on the strength of its existing relationship, which began when Stefanini developed its first data platform in 2007.
As a result, Stefanini was selected based on the strength of Invest Europe’s recommendation, as well as unanimous agreement among other national associations that it had suggested the most flexible solution during the tendering process.
“Working with Stefanini means we’re fully confident that the platform can be rapidly enhanced in response to technological or regulatory developments”
Stefanini recognized that the complexity of this project meant an off-the-shelf platform wouldn’t truly meet the requirements.
To reliably collect data from thousands of different funds – while managing the access rights to process this efficiently – required a bespoke solution.
Stefanini’s team organized several workshops to define the new application, with discussions spanning everything from developing the IP and methodology to agreeing the business case. These workshops were key to managing the complexity of the new system and ensuring the access rights were managed correctly.
Stefanini subsequently developed a front-end and back-end interface – as well as the content interface – developing a flexible platform that efficiently collated data from thousands of funds, providing a single point of data entry, managing access rights correctly and providing a comprehensive view of the private equity industry.
The result has been a flexible, customizable data collection platform that offers a great user experience for all contributors submitting data into the platform, along with the data experts reviewing and analyzing data for private equity market reports.
Stefanini has also supported the creation of a new module that allows users to review data without needing to export this first, offering a more efficient way of working and enhanced data security.
Julien Krantz, Research Director at Invest Europe, explains that the success of the initial implementation is matched by Stefanini’s ongoing support and maintenance. “We’re continuing to add new modules to the platform even now. Working with Stefanini means we’re fully confident that the platform can be rapidly enhanced in response to technological or regulatory developments,” explains Julien.
Invest Europe is currently collecting and auditing 30,000 transactions per year, from various sources, monitoring the investing activity of 3000 European and global actors within the private equity and venture capital sectors.
Following Stefanini’s development of the new and improved platform, Invest Europe has been able to collect around 40% more data from more reliable sources. This includes 20% more primary source data, which comes directly from private equity houses. The platform is now used by more than 40 analysts at 17 private equity associations across Europe and features multiple level access roles, customized data collection options and collaborative data audit tools.
Future focused: reporting solutions and automation
In order to future-proof the solution, Stefanini and Invest Europe have already begun discussing plans to develop its auditing and reporting solution, moving from Excel to Power BI.
This migration will allow the association benefit from a more flexible tool that can reliably manage large amounts of qualitative and quantitative information from thousands of funds. It will also allow Invest Europe and Stefanini analysts to work with data more efficiently, providing easier integration with the collection platform, while also offering rich visuals, personalized dashboards and faster reporting.
Automation is another potential area of development where Stefanini will play a role in helping Invest Europe enable its analysts to work more efficiently. Currently, there’s a large amount of manual work undertaken by analysts – whether for audit purposes or to ensure complete databases – which could be completed more efficiently via automation tools, freeing up analysts to work on more interesting tasks.
Iuliana Furica, Project Manager Invest Europe, Stefanini EMEA, says: “Our longstanding relationship with Invest Europe is testament to what Stefanini can achieve through its collaborative approach. Our recent project is a particularly strong example, involving a cutting-edge tailored solution that expertly meets the needs of multiple international stakeholders, while responding to the latest trends in technology and legislation.”
Our longstanding relationship with Invest Europe is testament to what Stefanini can achieve through its collaborative approach.