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Sustaining a Virtual Community for Private Capital Research

Woman taking money from bank
PCRI leverages the NORC Data Enclave® to provide secure capital market data to researchers
  • Client
    Private Capital Research Institute (PCRI)
  • Dates
    2013 - Present


Researchers lacked an authorititaive source of private capital data.

Founded in 2011 by Josh Lerner at Harvard Business School, the Private Capital Research Institute (PCRI) seeks to address the lack of quality research data on private equity funds and transactions. 

Despite the global footprint and continued growth of private equity and venture capital markets, a centralized authoritative source of private capital data has eluded researchers and academia.  As a result, there is a lack of unbiased academic research on the nature and effects of private capital to help inform policy makers and the public. The current public policy debate concerning private capital reveals a lack of understanding of its many forms and applications in today's global economy. Industry advocates make sweeping claims about benefits, while critics assert broad charges, with little evidence to support either side except for anecdotes or small and possibly distorted samples.


PCRI partnered with NORC to build a comprehensive private capital academic database and community of scholars.

Academic research studies in this area are difficult to replicate or refute because the results are highly dependent on a particular data source. For nearly ten years, the NORC Data Enclave® has been the platform of choice for PCRI to securely develop, manage, and disseminate its two comprehensive, centralized academic databases. The databases include fund-level and transaction-level data related to private capital. NORC provides data governance, management, and facilitates disclosure control of data export requests.  Authorized researchers securely access virtual remote desktops, which include statistical, analytical, and productivity tools to access data, conduct analysis, and collaborate with fellow researchers.


Increasing transparency of the private capital industry.


The NORC Data Enclave® is enabling research and creation of important publications that are growing the knowledge around private capital performance, fostering informed, fact-based economic policy decisions.


PCRI has built one of the most comprehensive and accurate sources of information on private capital firms and their transactions.  Data contributed directly from private capital firms is supplemented with data from commercial sources (e.g., Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, Thompson Reuters) to eliminate reporting biases and other flaws in the accuracy of the data. Through increased use and access to its data stored in the Data Enclave, PCRI continues to grow its community of scholars and sponsor unbiased academic research to address key questions about private capital. 

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