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5 Northern firms to make sense of your business data


Even the smallest businesses create data with every interaction, be that customer communication, sales, or marketing. 

Shortly after its creation, most business data is then filed away by software to a server, to be made sense of at a later date. That is, until you introduce artificial intelligence into the process. 

While sceptics are right to question AI’s ability to single-handedly save our future, it is already more than capable of pulling out novel insight from these piles of data.  

Its success is clear. US firm International Data Corporation predicts global spending on artificial intelligence will reach more than $110bn by 2024.

We’ve listed five Northern businesses taking a slice of this new spend with their own solutions, allowing businesses to tap into smart business data tech without having to create their own. 


Wordnerds – Gateshead

Wordnerds uses its AI for automated ‘social listening’; the ability to track what people are saying online, and therefore how they feel about a brand or experience. 

While the process sounds relatively straightforward, simple text-based tracking is often caught out by typos and nuanced emotion such as sarcasm. 

That’s where this start-up’s AI shines. It uses machine learning to better understand what customers are really saying, and aggregates these sentiments into actionable insights. 

Born out of a Nissan hackathon in 2017, it now counts the brand as a client, alongside Sage and Procter & Gamble. 


Peak – Manchester

Manchester-headquartered AI firm Peak offers its subscription-based SaaS product as an ‘intelligence layer’ across an entire firm’s infrastructure. 

Designed for enterprise clients, its solution taps into a firm’s data, and integrates into existing systems to both automate tasks and make suggestions for improvements.  

Last April the AI firm announced a $12m investment, taking its total funding to $18.5m. Founded in 2014, it now has six offices worldwide.

Brands already using the tech include Online electricals retailer AO, fashion brands boohoo and ASOS, and property company Bruntwood.


Hyper – Leeds 

Founded in 2019, West Yorkshire start-up Hyper is fittingly focused on the ‘hyper-personalisation’ of customer experiences. 

The agency works with its clients – which include Shop Direct, Asda, and Sky – to better predict the relationships between items bought, where customers are coming from, and what they want. 

The tech and expertise allows brands to refine predictions about stock demands, more intelligently set prices, and figure out which products are best-placed for an ‘up-sell’. 


Matillion – Manchester 

Dual-headquartered in Manchester and Denver, Colorado, with a presence in New York City and Seattle, Matillion is the biggest player on this list.

Its software provides a way to collate business data into a cloud data warehouse and prepare it  be consumed in analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence use cases.

Founded in 2011, the firm has to date raised $60m and counts major tech firms including DocuSign, Cisco, and messaging service Slack among its clients.


ResponseTap – Manchester

While it is relatively easy to track which online marketing campaign drove a customer to your online store, should they decide to pick up the phone that tracking is lost. 

Salford Quays-based ResponseTap is designed to fix that, allowing firms to track the journey of a customer which begins online and ends in a phone-call. 

The solution closes the gap between the two modes of communication, allowing marketers and call centres to better understand which online channels are driving customers to pick up the phone. 

Founded in 2008, the firm has raised $15.3m to date and has opened an office in New York. Last month it launched a new system which will integrate Facebook and Instagram into its call tracking data.

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