A new analytics consultancy has been set up by former Comtec chief executive and founder Simon Powell and former Thomas Cook head of data engineering and infrastructure Humphrey Sheil.
Eysys is developing a new product called ‘Holistic’ in tandem with a small number of industry partners aimed at helping travel websites to understand their business better to increase conversions and profits.
The rich data mined by Holistic will be analysed using the latest cloud-based technology to help marketers make better decisions about how to hone their web offering.
Powell said no one is currently offering such a product that will analyse the business decisions companies make in real time allowing a more strategic approach to sales and marketing.
“All types of selling systems generate a whole load of data both through online ecommerce and more traditional retail, and it’s how you use artificial intelligence to mine that to improve conversions.
“This is about having a 360 degree view of your business. Fundamentally it’s all about letting the management have the information to make decisions about change.”
Powell said Holistic will work in two ways, firstly in a non-invasive capacity it will monitor sites’ performance and then tweaks and changes will be suggested so retailers can test different options and assess their impact.
A team of software engineers based in Cardiff has already started developing the product in conjunction with a number of consultancy projects in travel, although Holistic will also be offered outside the travel sector.
“It’s not travel specific but that’s where we have our expertise and we understand the data flows in travel but ultimately the product is not sector specific,” Powell said.
The firm is working on a software-as-a-service commercial model and Eysys hopes to have the first beta versions up and running in three months as part of an initial 12 month development cycle.
The firm has struck up an alliance with the Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics and both Powell and Shiel will work closely with students at the faculty.
Eysys currently employs 10 staff and are looking to employ a further three software engineers. An innovation grant has been applied for from the Welsh government.
“From a data mining perspective we as an industry are pretty backwards,” said Powell, “therefore today there are very few businesses in our sector that are actually taking the vast amount of information that websites produce and analysing it. In fact a lot of people are throwing that data away.”
Powell said with conversion rates in travel running at around 1% to 2%, a small percentage change can make a big difference on a company’s bottom line.
“In the future as systems improve if we can get that to 2.5% I think we would revolutionise what the industry does.
“There are lots of reasons why that may not happen, but being down at 1% to 2% is not good enough, we have to strive to change that by giving the right customer experience and not just changing a website just because there’s a belief something might happen.
“It’s all about the next generation of ecommerce. The first generation has all been a bit trial and error. Now there is more analysis going on with things like Google Analytics, but there is a lot more to be done.”
Sheil added: “Our product will continually run unique programmes on the internet sites to test sales trends, marketing promotions and advertising techniques used by companies.
“It is an intuitive product which will make company specific suggestions, recommendations and forecasts based on data gathered.
“Our approach moves ecommerce on to the next level. We like to term it New Commerce as the analytics covers the business as a whole, looking at all distribution channels both on and offline.”