The operations team is the backbone of every allocator. They are tasked with managing the complex and unstructured data and documents produced by GPs. These documents include quarterly letters, investment memos, account statements, distributions, capital calls… and everything else besides. Processing these documents and extracting data from them is both vital and extremely challenging. And, increasing volumes and demands mean it’s continually getting harder, so – however you manage it – it’s got to be built on robust and sustainable processes.
This article outlines the challenges associated with managing this process manually and provides best practices for allocator operations teams to consider.
The intricate complexities of the needle and haystack ops team challenge
Having a system that allows the organization to know what it needs to know at any given point means returning to a fresh version of the same ‘needle in a haystack’ challenge over and over again. This is due to five initial factors:
- The total number of documents
- The size and complexity of each document
- Different document formats
- Different sources the documents will come from/to
- Managing documents related to different funds
These factors create the ‘haystack’. The ‘needles’ are key pieces of data hidden within this large and rapidly changing sum of document-based information.
Documents are not the same as ‘data’. Key data values such as dates and amounts must be interpreted and analyzed. And that needs to happen quickly, as soon as the document arrives.
The final challenge with the needle and haystack problem is that ‘needles’ look a lot like ‘hay’. And so contextual understanding becomes even more important. For example:
- Whether the fund is already allocated or pre-allocation
- Understanding the names of related entities in the allocation universe
- Whether important upcoming dates clash with other important dates that are otherwise unrelated
- Key quantitative data that may trigger actions or notifications
Going beyond ingenuity to optimize critical workflows
Without processes for managing documents and data, the rest of the organization can waste crucial time working with incomplete information, miss important dates, and lose the clarity needed for important decisions. So what is the optimal approach?
Every allocator’s data management approach is unique, but there are two things in common: ingenuity and endeavor. Systems evolution is informed partly by methodology, partly via hard-won experience. They typically incorporate digital notes, checklists, reminders, and even paper-based ledgers. Plus they’ll use shared file systems, security fail-safes, proprietary naming conventions and taxonomies, and customized applications.
At Bipsync, we’re constantly looking for ways to optimize workflows for our allocator clients. That means understanding how all these proprietary operations processes work and enabling them to work better, using automation and integrations to save significant time and effort.
We partnered with Canoe Intelligence who specializes in automated document collection for alternatives. Together we’ve developed an integration with our award-winning research management system (RMS) that massively streamlines the collection and categorization of investment documents. This combination of technologies enables operations teams to reduce or eliminate the arcane, time-consuming machinations of their work, and implement modern, effective processes that work straight out of the box.
Canoe and Bipsync work in tandem to first collect and categorize documents from multiple sources (Canoe Connect) and then have them loaded to Bipsync for processing into structured fields, and to trigger subsequent automated workflows and notifications.
With this combined solution in place, your operations teams can carry on doing what they do best and set the organization up for success!
Automating admin-intensive document management tasks in one place
Finding needles in haystacks – i.e. auditing and staying on top of documents from GPs and other investments – is no easy task. Once they arrive in Bipsync from Canoe, allocators can organize and automate previously manual processes to rapidly identify gaps and automatically trigger rules for action.
Critically, they can collate all that information in one easy-to-consume grid view from where it’s easy to track actions, filter objects, and navigate across entities and files.
By leveraging Bipsync’s configurable Rules Engine alongside the integration with Canoe, allocators establish fully automated end-to-end workflows that didn’t exist before, freeing up valuable time to allow the team to focus on more critical tasks.
Just one of five ways allocators harness Bipsync to optimize operations
Smart document management is just one-way allocators are using their research management systems (RMS) to optimize operations – extending the value of these platforms beyond front-office investment research.
Coping with potential data overload is a perennial issue throughout the investment lifecycle, particularly how it impacts workflows across investment and operations teams. We’ve pulled together this guide showing how allocators use Bipsync to support consistently excellent operational processes. It encompasses a broad range of functions from compliance management and due diligence checklists to monitoring invested funds, with ideas for improving productivity and efficiency across the organization.
For more information on how Bipsync can support your investment processes, contact us or schedule a demo today.