Ares Management Leverages Alteryx to Operationalize Business Processes

Industry: Financial Services

Department:  Multiple

Region: North America

Over 150 hours of time freed up for credit team through one workflow

Process that previously took 2 months -> now 2 to 3 minutes

Operationalizing and automating processes across business teams

Using data and analytics to drive better decision-making

Founded in 1997 and settled in the alternative asset management space, Ares Management has been using data and analytics to drive business decisions in market economics since its inception. “We have three lines of business, focusing on credit, private equity and real estate,” says Neil Soni, vice president of technology at Ares. “Data plays a huge role in our ability to make decisions. We have market data coming in from numerous sources, and we have to take into consideration simple economics like cost of fuel, so how does that effect our holdings in the travel industry, and so on.”

“A major hurdle we faced was that our teams were barricaded by data silos at times. First, developers were spending too much time parsing and cleaning data in our financial reports, and it wasn’t a great use of their time. Then we had team members who were working on the same analysis in unorganized Excel spreadsheets, and they had no way of knowing that they were duplicating their efforts. We also did not have insight into where our reports were being published, and if anybody on other teams were actually using them. We needed to find a solution to automate processes, break down silos between our teams and provide better access to insights.”

Neil Soni, Associate VP of Technology, Ares Management

Neil Soni, VP of Technology, Ares Management

Turning to technology to improve business operations

“We were introduced to Alteryx through a technology partner who was helping our transactional tax team take advantage of the Platform,” says Soni. “We quickly saw Alteryx as the proper technology facilitator to help speed up and operationalize processes.” Ares Management has invested in technologies such as Alteryx and other platforms to improve the following initiatives:

  • Investment in no-code technology: Without the need to code, business teams are using Alteryx to build automated analytics workflows faster without IT or third-party assistance. 

  • Moving toward agile task management: Teams are taking advantage of agile practices supported by task management technology to increase productivity, ownership, and collaboration. 

  • Continue investment in data and analytics: The analytics team is further building on their success with Alteryx with advanced modeling capabilities. 

3 reasons Ares chose Alteryx:

  1.  Automation: Ability to speed up manual processes and work more efficiently.
  2. Operationalize processes: Using Alteryx and other technologies to improve and operationalize processes across teams to drive change.
  3. Break down data silos: Use of data and analytics to enable teams to work faster, collaborate more frequently and unlock insights with ease.

Realizing benefits and ROI at scale

A few of Ares’ teams have experienced impressive ROI in their initiatives using Alteryx. These teams include:

  • Finance/Direct Lending: Before Alteryx, the private credit team of 15 people were manually updating Excel to help calculate fees for roughly 30 to 40 funds, which took each person 3 to 4 hours per week. This was only available quarterly and is now done daily, giving the team more time and the company more up-to-date insights into fees on funds. This one workflow took an hour to build and runs in 4 to 5 minutes, freeing up over 150 hours of time for the team to focus on more important initiatives to help customers. 

  • Investment Professionals: The team reduced a process that was taking 2 months to complete once a year down to 2 to 3 minutes. The team has stated that "Alteryx has changed the way we do everything, and will continue to be a growing part of our tech stack and data initiatives in the future." 

“We’ve had a great experience with Alteryx helping improve our end-to-end processes,” says Soni. “Alteryx has helped drive change at the operational level across groups. Previously our analytics teams acted more as consultants to the business. Now they’ve become centralized product owners, and that has helped defragment teams that owned their data. We’ve gone from being in a siloed world to being more collaborative as we continue to automate our processes.”

What's Next?

Making data available to everyone

So, what's next? Soni says the priority for Ares will be to enable the business to have greater access into insights through data and analytics. “We want to make our data and insights available to everyone across the organization,” Soni says. “We need to ensure that data is accessible across all teams in a centralized way, and continue to work with our governance teams to make sure our data is secure.”

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