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Data has matured and it’s impacting Channel Island businesses

July 26, 2018

50% of business leaders* are looking to increase their spending in business intelligence and data in 2018, and 28% of those think that data will have the biggest impact on their businesses, clients and industry leaders heard from C5 Alliance recently at a ‘Future of C5: Data’ event at the Royal Yacht in Jersey.

In 2017, nearly 81% of executives said that they had seen measurable returns from their data investment, with the top returns realised from finding new avenues for innovation and from launching new products and services driven from analysing their data.

The event comes following the successful acquisition of C5 by BDO Jersey earlier this year, which now sees the unified firm providing strategy, consulting, digital, technology and managed services. Senior members of C5 discussed agile data management and why its implementation is no longer optional, but critical, to business success.

Director of Professional Services John Gamble and Senior Consultant, Jake Smillie introduced the company’s enhanced data services, and highlighted how, with BDO, the organisation is uniquely placed to deliver quality end-to-end solutions to Channel Island businesses with capabilities to advise, build and run solutions for organisations through a single, seamless entity.

Explaining the rationale for dedicated data services, John Gamble commented:

“Skills to handle, programme, analyse and manage data are in demand and C5 has a long heritage in the data, analytics and business intelligence space so it’s a natural evolution to develop our data services. When used effectively, data has the potential to drive value greater than any other area of IT.”

“We can take clients on a journey to help them get increased value from data.” said Mr Gamble, citing real world examples where C5 employees have advised clients on how they can use data better and the opportunities it creates for their businesses. “Our data solutions provide a mature set of services enabling clients to move away from focusing effort on just producing reports, to actually delivering insight, leading to innovation and increased performance.”

As an example of the innovation that can be achieved, David Scott, co-founder of GardenTags, the social network dedicated to gardeners, and Martin Blampied, data science consultant at C5, showcased C5’s work using machine learning and computer vision to create an automated plant recognition feature for the GardenTags platform. In describing the value this feature provides Mr Scott explained that it has driven users and increased uptake of the platform by novice gardeners, a market demographic they’d previously struggled to attract.

“Gardening is the number one pastime in the USA”, said Mr Scott, “and the average UK household spends £500 a year on it, but it is an industry underserved by technology. GardenTags has always been a business driven by data. Our gardening community has generated nearly 20 million data points including plant identifications and comments containing help and advice on how to nurture plants. With the implementation of AI and plant image recognition, through our app, GardenTags is starting to turn this expert data into knowledge to better serve the larger novice market”.

Mr Gamble concluded by stating that whilst C5 will continue to provide industry leading advice on technologies and services, C5 also wants to be led by clients working in partnership to solve challenges and drive innovation through better use of data.