A Week in My Life: Richard Eaves, Head of Business Intelligence, Business Insight 3
Richard Eaves is Head of Business Intelligence at security and information technology provider Business Insight 3.
The Preston-based firm develops digital tools for retailers, attractions and various other sectors to enhance security measures and transform business outcomes.
Here Richard runs through a week in his working life.
Monday begins with a walk of our black labrador, Brooke. Upon my return, I grab some breakfast and sit down in my Covid-19 office space - the kitchen table. Albeit its dangerous proximity to the biscuit tin...
The week then kick-starts with a full team check-in via ZOHO Cliq instant messenger. We share what each of us are working on that day, the client meetings that are taking place and the developments that are underway. Since implementing this system last year, we’ve found the connectivity, flexibility and visibility across our business invaluable - especially when it comes to remote working.
When the Covid-19 outbreak first hit the news, I’m proud to say Bi3 adapted to become part of the solution. We leveraged our in-depth knowledge of security systems to create a ‘Covid package’ of tools for retailers and other venues needing to uphold the government’s recommended distancing advice. This includes real-time occupancy monitoring and crowd density tracking, often using existing CCTV infrastructure.
These features have been great additions to our suite of Business Intelligence solutions that stretch far beyond the Covid-19 crisis. Especially as bricks and mortar stores require further data intelligence on their customers’ metrics while they compete or look to blend with e-commerce in an era championing customer experience.
This was exactly the enquiry we received on Monday afternoon - a prospect wanting to measure the ‘new normal’, and assess its in-store interactions between customers and staff as well as the use of its click and collect offering. Exciting stuff.
Tuesdays are always a busy day - the planning of the week is over, now it's time to get stuck in. We’re in discussions with a very high-profile retail department store in London which is looking to implement social distancing measures as well as temperature screening of staff. We can help with both. By 10am, we’ve signed an NDA and the back and forth conversation with the prospective client is in full flow.
There’s only just time to dive into the fridge (again!) and make myself a sandwich before Bi3’s Technical Director, Ed Kohut, and I join an international conference call. This was to discuss the roll-out of a solution for a US organisation, with the specific location being discussed being in France. I’m kicking myself wishing I had listened more during my French GCSE classes but, luckily, the language of tech is pretty universal.
The working day ends with a quick scan down my LinkedIn feed followed by some well-needed chill time.
I never thought simply leaving the house would make for a big day. But, this morning, myself and another member of the business intelligence team are off to Leeds for a day presenting to clients - and I couldn’t be happier about it.
While en route up the M62 in my trusty Alfa Romeo Giulia, I’m on speakerphone chatting with the team back in the office about a people counting proposal we are pulling together for a shopping centre client. I’m feeling confident about this one - the company already uses our products for its security needs and now, having been impressed with our service, they’re back for more.
The afternoon is spent presenting a live demonstration of skeletal tracking technology to a client and consultant. The technology, which uses deep learning models to detect the joints of a human skeleton, has been around for a while but its varied benefits and use cases are only just being realised amongst end-users.
As soon as I’m home, I send those who I met a follow-up email to thank them for their time and summarise the agreed next steps - something I consider to be important following any meeting.
Today marks the first time I’m back in our Preston Technology Centre office since early March. To minimise risk, we’ve divided the full workforce into two teams so it doesn’t feel completely back to normal. But it’s great to see a few familiar faces again including Jordan, our apprentice, who joined us two days before the country went into lockdown!
The morning includes a video conference call with one of our key suppliers and I’m joined by our company founder and Managing Director, Glen Higson. At Bi3, we value our supplier relationships just as much as our client relationships - they’re incredibly important to us and the meeting really gets creativity flowing. It’s good to be back. Following this, Glen and I host a webinar run by the UK’s largest membership body for security professionals, The Security Institute.
We’re very proud to be a member of this fantastic body and the session, which focuses on using security technology to enhance overall business outcomes, is a big success with interesting discussion between ourselves, consultants and chamber of commerce members.
Can’t believe it’s Friday already - I tend to skip between ‘the weeks are flying by’ and ‘really, just Wednesday?’ fairly frequently. The day starts with a management meeting where we recap the week just gone and plan for the week ahead. Myself, Glen and our digital marketing whiz, Declan, stay in the Experience Centre to dial in our PR and marketing agency. We discuss whitepapers, case studies and general marketing processes. All I can say for now is: watch this space.
Lunch consists of a long overdue trip to the local chippy with the rest of the team. I’ve missed this. Final job of the day is arranging the site commissioning visits that are taking place next week and the organising of technical engineers. Lastly, the usual Friday afternoon work drinks down the pub are replaced with an online quiz with a BYOB message so that everyone can join in.
This time has certainly taught us a lot. Some things we’re excited to return back to, others we can leave in the past but only one thing is for sure - technology is the way forward, and we’re thrilled to be leading the advance.