Most organisations collect data in one form or the other. Whether that is sales data in bill books or contact information captured through digital channels, the question for most becomes – what do we do with this data? One company aims to change the way local businesses access, view, interpret and act on data which can be a real game-changer.
Founded in 2015, Intelligent Applications Co Ltd has seen its employee base grow by 300 per cent over the past two years based on demand in the local market for capturing and understanding data in a way that can improve a company’s position. Founder Kailash Maharaj saw this work well for companies on a global scale having worked in Europe for 12 years before deciding to return home and create his own software company.
“I have a bold vision; I want us to help invent the future. I want to work with the leading-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create innovative systems that truly transform businesses locally, regionally and eventually globally.
"Right now we are focused on data solutions but we are already looking ahead to other disruptive technologies. The approach for most companies is to collect and collate data, which eventually will end up in reports that are generally manual in nature – meaning they take considerable time to prepare. After that process, the report is delivered to managers, and it is at this point that you realise, the data is too late to be of great use. Any decision that could have been made to act on that data will now happen too late,” he cautioned.
Instead, Maharaj and his team at Intelligent Applications work with companies to automate the data gathering, monitoring and feedback mechanisms so that it happens in near real-time for managers and decision-makers.
“For companies that have existing software or dashboards in place, we export that data into a centralised database, model it and optimise it for reporting. The whole process is automated via applications and machine learning so that we can build apps to collect and manage an existing system or create one from the ground up if needed,” he pointed out.
While we tend to think of digital transformation of an organisation in terms of the technology that we bring as a solution to a problem, the whole process is closer to a mix of sales, marketing, customer service, business processes and culture. The point of any organisation engaging in digital transformation is (or should be) to improve their understanding of their customers and create better engagements with them and not only be seen as a means to higher profit through process engineering with technology. “At the heart of it, the more informed you are in your business, the better decisions you can make. However, the reality is that most businesses retain and access their data in ways that don’t help them to learn and grow," Maharaj said.
"Our systems allow decision makers to pull up real-time data on their business which is presented in a very visual way. Having the ability to track data, in real time, presented visually, allows you to also act in real time to sales or processes that need improvements. This approach is preferable to seeing that a certain location of your business under-performed against its KPIs two weeks after the end of the month. Instead, it would be far better to be able to correct in the middle of the month in which it’s happening,” he added.
“Organisations can get daily or weekly views built and presented automatically in a very visual and useful way.”
With half of his organisation currently less than 30 years old in median age, Maharaj hoped his team will be able to create software and applications that people around the world will find useful.
“We are generally producing software-based products, but this year we do have projects connected with the Internet of Things (IoT),” he advised. IoT refers to the concept of connecting any device to the internet. Whereas most devices connected are in the computer/tablet/phone space, the IoT will see greater connection of other non-networked things like our light switches at home or our cars. This represents a whole new platform for software companies to engage in.
“It is our objective to build knowledge and expertise in cutting-edge technology which is a big potential area for diversification of our economy.
“Work in the digital transformation space has picked up dramatically in the past two years with players in the energy industry, as well as the insurance and manufacturing sectors keen to put real-time business intelligence to work for their businesses.”
The company also partners with performance management consultants to offer deeper dives into technology and data than most of those firms go. This allows the team at Intelligent Applications to fulfil the technical aspects of business consulting and offer solutions to front of house and back-end tech challenges alike.
The key to real digital transformation is, therefore, to convert data into actionable information. Leveraging the tools available in today’s software, AI and machine learning spaces, Intelligent Applications is helping to create companies that can be more responsive and adaptive in real-time and take note of trends and patterns in their business operations so that they can ultimately offer a better service to their customers.