Unlocking the value of your Participations data

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We have found that one of the challenges Media and Entertainment companies face in the participations space is the  the difficulty  of synthesizing large volumes of data from multiple sources into actionable information which can drive management decisions.   And when we talk to some companies they are unaware that mature BPO providers can provide deep […]

We have found that one of the challenges Media and Entertainment companies face in the participations space is the  the difficulty  of synthesizing large volumes of data from multiple sources into actionable information which can drive management decisions.   And when we talk to some companies they are unaware that mature BPO providers can provide deep experience in synthesizing and structuring leading edge executive dashboards with truly actionable decision support data. 
 
Unfortunately, Media and Entertainment companies have traditionally relied on manual processes to get this data into a centralized, simplified and useful view.   Experienced financial staff with long pedigrees have been used for accumulating financial data and driving out answers using systems like Excel and Access.  But at what cost?  Insightful decision support data should be available to executive leadership at reasonable cost and without distracting financial talent from critical deliverables.  When I have spoken to clients on this capability, I see genuine excitement, almost like desert had just been served.
 
Contract data, revenue and cost information, key terms and conditions, outstanding exposure on ‘ultimates’, and evergreen forecasts for quarterly payout exposure seem to be difficult for M & E companies to collate and feed back to management in a succinct format.  This is further complicated by manual processes, a wide range of source systems and heavy data schema that make consolidating this information daunting, and costly.   I have personally seen situations where companies are actually unaware of their talent contract terms and the resulting payment liability.
 
However, through an exciting new project, we recently tackled this challenge by compiling a prototype dashboard for participations leadership and executive management.  We started by developing innovative views that informed management of the periodic budget of participations payments and the actuals paid against that budget over time.   We then added an updated “forecast” which allowed us to display the more recent updates that came from performance data of the actual production.   We then began to target questions that leaders would ask:  “where do I stand on Film A, with respect to actress B?” or “we have an opportunity to make a film like Film A, what participations payout can I expect based on similar terms and conditions for the participants?” This directed us to more talent-specific questions: “How are we doing with total payout on all projects to actor C?” ; “or what do we generally do with Actor C, are those gross after break even deals?” “Can I get a list of the terms and conditions on all of Actor C’s projects?”. 
 
We also demonstrated how to aggregate data from multiple sources and produce top quality dashboards to provide client leadership with actionable data.  This exercise served as a good example of how media and entertainment companies can expect more from BPO and the response so far has been extremely positive.
 
As channels multiply, markets shift, legal challenges arise, and the industry seeks new footing in an environment of increasing volume and  complexity, M & E companies cannot afford to build deep and broad teams of domestic financial expertise in order to provide dashboard data to leadership.   Instead,  they should expect more from their BPO providers and look for creative forward thinking on how  to tap into the appropriate systems and generate critical analytics at an affordable cost, which liberates onshore financial talent to focus on mission-critical deliverables.

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