Business Services

Data drives directors in a new direction

By North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC)
July 2019

A PAIR of directors who swapped the insurance industry for the tech sector are reaping the rewards with the continued expansion of their fast-growing start-up.

Jason Turner and Sarah Burns launched Data2Action in 2017, having worked at insurance giant BGL Group as operational directors for a combined total of nearly two decades.

Originally working from home, the pair launched the business by combining their extensive operational and business transformation experience to provide support to companies wanting to grow and improve their operating performance.

“Initially, we provided operational and data protection services to a number of large clients spread across the country,” Jason said. “Then, we started to see a real rise in demand from companies in the North East including those in the tech sector.

“Having both held senior positions at BGL Group, the parent company of Comparethemarket.com, we’d both witnessed first-hand the importance of using data effectively to drive operational performance.

“With the ever-present advancement in technology and the desire for most organisations to optimise their performance, many are looking at ways to transform what they do in order to future proof their business.

“Whilst buying technology goes someway to help that, creating a data centric culture is paramount to success and we believe as a centre for excellence, the North East has great potential.”

The introduction of GDPR last year had a huge impact on the business world, harmonising data privacy laws across Europe and ensuring businesses give greater protection and rights to the individuals whose data they capture and store.

Jason added: “It’s a commonly used phrase in the tech industry nowadays that data is the new oil, and it isn’t far from the truth. The value of data has risen massively in recent years and with the introduction of GDPR, it has become as important as ever for businesses to not only protect their data but also to maximise the effects of it.

“Research shows that up to 80% of business data in the UK actually goes unused, and by working with businesses we can leverage value by working smarter not harder. We help businesses understand what they have and work with them to improve the way they collect, store and utilise their data. This helps give leaders a better understanding of not only their business but also their customers, driving real organisational results.”

Data2Action helps companies understand, use and protect their data, increasing the value of this important asset and enabling them to gain a predictive insight into not only business performance but also into identifying opportunities for innovation and product development.

The company, which is based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), has grown rapidly since its launch two years ago - employing seven highly-skilled associates alongside Jason and Sarah - and has ambitious plans for the future.

“We can’t believe how fast we’ve grown over the last two years,” Jason said. “We now have a team of seven experts on our books, alongside Sarah and myself, and plan to continue growing this number as we look to the future.

“We’re currently looking at investing in a new office at the BIC, which will allow us to not only better serve our clients but also to bring all of our team together to think about how we can continue to improve our service going forward.

“It will also mean we’ll be located right at the heart of the North East, giving us easy access to our clients across the region as well as being able to tap into support from the local authorities, universities and of course the National Innovation Centre for Data at Newcastle University, which was a huge draw for us choosing the North East. Add to that the rapidly growing tech scene and it was a no-brainer.”

Donna Surtees, Centre Manager at the BIC, said: “We were delighted when Jason and Sarah first came to the BIC to hotdesk and are incredibly proud of how much they’ve grown in such a short period of time.

“To have already created seven highly-skilled roles and to already be looking at larger office space is testament to all of the hard work the team have put in over the last two years and we wish them all the best going forward.”

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