UNW’s Corporate Finance team and Who Can Fix My Car, a leading website that connects drivers with car repair services local to them, recently hosted a round-table lunch in Newcastle upon Tyne. The forum was held to explore how data can be used more effectively to increase sales and efficiency by encouraging attendees to share ideas. It also allowed them to investigate ways in which they could collaborate with one another in the future.
Held at Who Can Fix My Car’s headquarters on Forth Banks, guests from a variety of businesses in the e-commerce and the wider technology sectors came together to discuss the importance of data in today’s landscape. This included senior representatives from North East businesses such as international retailer Crafter’s Companion, e-commerce platform business AeroCommerce, and insurance application Honcho Markets.
Attendees engaged in a short networking session over lunch upon arrival. After this, Ian Griffiths, co-founder of Who Can Fix My Car, then opened the forum with a short presentation about the company’s journey from a two person start up to becoming the largest business of its kind in the UK. The website, which was launched in 2011, allows users to find the best deals on car repair jobs, MOTs, and servicing from a national list of mechanics and has now served over two million drivers.
Following the presentation, Robert Cooper of UNW’s Corporate Finance team then chaired the discussion around data. Conversation started with each representative discussing how advanced they considered their respective business to be in relation to how they collect, analyse, and utilise data. The topic then touched on the roles of AI and machine learning in data, as well as discussing the ways attendees viewed data in shaping and evolving their business in the future.
The event also gave guests the opportunity to share their strengths, as well as ideas on the practical steps to make better use of data, the most integral aspects of data to their business, and best practices to capture and analyse it.
The attendance of businesses from both an e-commerce and wider technology background enabled a collaborative approach; this encouraged both types of organisation to offer insight and deliberate on what they could learn from each other, and the simple strategies that could be taken to improve their use of data.
Robert Cooper suggested the event only scratched the surface as to the possibilities in harnessing data, stating: “The opportunities for businesses to scale and increase profitability from using data more intelligently are huge, but it can be a daunting task in knowing where to start. Hopefully this event provided attendees with some ideas as to how they can go about it and in understanding the challenges faced by other members of the business community.”
Ian Griffiths, co-founder of Who Can Fix My Car, said: “It was fantastic to host UNWs latest event in our Newcastle HQ. Data is at the heart of what we do and hearing stories and insights from our local peers was enlightening. The digital ecosystem in the North East is thriving, evidenced by the attendees, and the opportunity to debate important topics in such a forum and collaborate on future initiatives is invaluable.”
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