November sees the launch of Octelas 50 designed specifically for companies using the Sage 50 accounts package, one of the most commonly used accounting systems used in business today. Along with our highly acclaimed reporting Octelas 50 enables Sage 50 users to obtain much better information on historic stock pricing, value, margins and profitability.
On the first day of the 2018 Advanced Engineering Show (AES) at the NEC Birmingham, Paul North gave an excellent presentation on data democracy and how Octelas is setting the industry standard in business reporting for SME’s. AES was celebrating it’s 10th anniversary as the UK’s largest event for the high value manufacturing sector.
Paul said, “This was a first for Illuminis to attend and present at such a prestigious and truly global show. It was an encouraging experience for me personally and a resounding success for raising awareness for our company and products that have great synergy with companies in this sector.”
Paul presented alongside James Reeves from Voxeljet, also based in Milton Keynes, at the Automotive Engineering Open Forum. These presentations were facilitated and organised by Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) of which they are both members. STC were also sponsors of the VIP area at the two day show 31st October and 1st November.
You can watch the 12 minute presentation below.
At Illuminis, we are on a mission to prove that SMEs can substantially improve profitability by giving every employee access to the business data they need, when they need it and without needing any IT skills. Imagine how excited we are that Paul North has been invited to speak at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC on Wednesday 31st on the important topic of breaking down technical barriers to implementation of a Data Democracy policy.
If Christmas is your key trading period then most likely you are already well into the swing of your busiest quarter of the year. But did you know that the data generated during this time could become a valuable performance tool to keep you ahead of the competition?
If you are relying on standard accounting information to manage your business then it could be months – perhaps even six months to a whole year – before you have a clear picture of your business performance.
But what if you had full visibility on best and worst performing goods week by week, even day by day? With totally reliable information at your fingertips you wouldn’t have to guess how you were doing, you could respond to trends by focussing all your efforts on the best achieving goods and clear those doing less well.
Says Illuminis Chairman Paul North “Getting on top of issues as and when they happen is key to businesses operating on short seasonal trading patterns. With Octelas software, managers can easily track sales as they happen as well as compare them with previous years on a rolling monthly average basis so that the true underlying position quickly becomes very clear”.
Likewise, pinning down the gross margin achieved on every sale is crucial to matching selling prices with market demand and still bringing in an acceptable level of profit over the period. Paul comments “Octelas calculates gross margin automatically and as users spot pricing errors immediately, they can adjust prices as often as they need to, to reflect customer demand”. In particular retailers bringing in Christmas goods from overseas need to be right on top of currency fluctuations.
Octelas software adds value to your business reporting by capturing and combining all the data created by your company from accounting system, spreadsheets, CRM and other sources at least once a day and delivering it automatically to users by phone, PC or other device, providing an update on all the latest sales, purchases and other activities. Accessing the information from Octelas requires no more skill than using an online shopping trolley and so every manager can always stay on top of the key information needed to run the business without resorting to acres of spreadsheets.
We are delighted to have been shortlisted in two categories for the 2018 National Technology Awards:
- Analytics Product of the Year. (Data might be getting bigger, but to make sense of it there has to be outstanding analytics, so this category welcomes nominations for analytics programmes and systems that can deliver real business intelligence, with proven results)
- Innovative Enterprise Product of the Year. (This category is for products that are game-changers for the corporate world and can honestly claim to be capable of creating major impacts on the way that enterprises do business. These may be evolutions or wholly new ideas, but they must have a definite corporate application)
The National Technology Awards celebrate the pioneers of new technology, focusing on innovation in areas such as finance, travel, gaming, IoT and analytics. Winning entries come from those companies and organisations who have made outstanding technological contributions across a variety of sectors. The winners will be announced at the gala dinner and awards ceremony on 17 May 2018 at the Waldorf Hilton, London and the Illuminis team are looking forward to attending an amazing evening.
Paul North, founder and MD of Illuminis, begins his series of vlogs on Small Data. In this vlog he helps us understand just how big Big data is and how Small Data has the potential to revolutionise SME businesses.
Hi and welcome to the first of our video blogs on Small Data. I’m Paul North the founder of Illuminis
Yes Small Data, not Big Data. We’ve all heard about Big Data, I think we need to hear more about Small Data, I’m going to tell you why and in a series of videos hopefully get you to think about Small Data in your own business.
Let’s just for a moment side-track and think about what does Small Data really mean, how big is that and how small is that and so on. I think it’s useful to understand actually how big, big data is. We have this issue that every few years we suddenly get a new term in the computer world. When I first started kilobytes were amazing things, and then suddenly megabytes were out and boy they were great weren’t they and then not long after that we had gigabytes. Now we’re looking at hard disks with Terabyte storage. There’s another layer up which is Petabytes which is where we get into the whole big data series.
These terms just come into our language and we just bandy them about as if they’re just another extension of the next bit. It used to be A, now it’s B, now it’s C. It’s very hard for us as humans to understand growing large powers of numbers, we don’t really get how that works and I’m reminded of an example I was given at the time of the financial crash a few years ago.
A reporter on the radio was talking about the issue that last year we were talking about the millions of pounds that people owed, and now suddenly we’re talking about the billions of pounds that people owe – as if that was just a bit more really.
He gave an example that I thought was really helpful in understanding the way these powers work. The example was if you owed some money and you paid that money back at a pound a second, how long would it take for these different things.
So if you have a thousand pounds, a kilo-pound if you like, that’s going to take you about a quarter of an hour to pay back at a pound a second. But if you had a millions pounds, a thousand thousand pounds, a Mega-pound, that’s going to take you eleven and a half days to pay back, which is quite a bit longer.
That’s your million, let’s go to a billion pounds, a thousand million pounds, a Giga-pound, that’s not going to take you 11 days to pay back, that’s going to take you 32 years! That’s the difference of the way these things work. Now if we follow that extension up in terms of the data thing that we’re looking at, and we get to this place called Peta, Peta pounds which is what big data is measured in these days, that will take you back or forward, whichever way you look at it, thirty million years to pay that back. That’s the time long before man ever existed on the earth, the time that butterflies were just beginning to flutter about the place.
It’s really hard for us to understand these things but these are huge numbers. We’re going to bring it back, we’re going to be talking in small data about things in the Mega and Giga range, which are still pretty big.
So for most of us in the SME space, the amount of information and data we hold in the systems behind our business, to us can seem really big and daunting, but in the world compared to Big Data the amount of stuff we hold is really tiny.
But we often don’t do enough with it, and we certainly don’t realise all the potential that there is available to us as a business to drive it forward if only we could get to that data that we hold. There’s a big revolution going on at the moment with Big Data, but an interesting article by Rufus Pollock, who was then the founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation back three or four years ago, talked about the potential revolution of Small Data.
The analogy that he used was in the early days of computing there were large mainframe computers held by just a few companies that could make a really big difference, indeed probably helped to get man to the moon. It was only when the microcomputer, the personal computer came out and suddenly the distributed use of all that power became available that the real revolution happened and computing took off in away that’s completely changed the world.
His contention is that while Big Data may be good for the big stuff, when people really start to get their hands on their small data that same kind of revolution can happen.
I completely agree with him.
In my experience, lots of SME businesses hold what we think of as being large amounts of information and just too large, even at that size for us to really deal with.
In his original article, Rufus Pollock gives a definition of Small Data as the amount of data that can be comfortable stored and analysed on a single high-end laptop. It’s as a good a definition as any.
If I think of a typical SME manufacturer or distributor that we’re working with, let’s say they’re turning over 10-15 million pounds, they’ve got a nice fancy accounting system that looks after all of their daily transactions, all of the stock movements around the business, selling to hundreds of people, thousands of things and so on.
Their complete amount of data in that kind of system for the last ten years would fit on my high-end laptop many times over. Indeed, I reckon I could get 5 or 6 of the data sets from those businesses on my phone. So, although the word is small, I think you’ll appreciate that with the amount of information that’s in there, that’s quite a lot for us.
If we can just get inside that data and get the insights that we need from it that will drive our business, will drive our profitability, look for those hidden gems, that’s going to make the difference. That’s what excites me, that’s what I do this for an I want to share with you over the next few videos some ideas on what you might look for in your data. Things we’ve done perhaps with other clients that I think “do you know other people might find that useful, maybe they just haven’t thought about it, maybe they just don’t have the way to deal with it”.
I want you to think about the Small data in your business. What are the potential benefits from really getting inside it and how can you use that to really drive your profitability and your business forward.
See you next time.
Illuminis is proud to sponsor the Milton Keynes City Orchestra’s first concert in the New Year at The Venue MK on Sunday 14th January 2018 at 4.00pm
Rarely performed in England, this concert is a mix of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, one of the best loved and most performed works in the classical repertoire. Add the fiery tango rhythms of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and you have a truly intoxicating mix of music.
Francesco D’orazio is an internationally renowned violinist and he will perform throughout the concert, which is played without an interval, in another unusual turn in classical concert performance.
We hope that you will join us tickets are £10, £25 and £5 for under 18’s or students.
For more concert information and to buy tickets click here
We are delighted to announce our forthcoming vlog series on Small Data.
Our MD, Paul North, has many years (too many!) experience of working with data in SME businesses and is recording a series of articles to be published on YouTube.
He is more and more excited by the potential that exists for SMEs to gain real insights and value from the data stored in the systems in their business.
In these times where Big Data is getting lots of press he wants to demonstrate that there are much bigger wins available to SMEs that can access, analyse, process and share their Small Data.
We will also post a transcript of the vlogs here as they are published.
We are thrilled that Octelas has been shortlisted for a 2017 Biztech Bright Sparc award in the category Best new B2B technology innovation in MK and SEMLEP region.
The winners will be announced at the BrightSparc Awards on 24th November 12 noon – 2pm, at Espark Hub, Central Milton Keynes.
Team Illuminis will be joined at the lunch by Marian Livingstone from Livingstone White and Paul Kitchen and Amanda Wright from Yellow Yoyo, all of whom have contributed to this year’s success.
The full shortlist can be found here.
Intelligence tool gives your business the edge
AFTER three years of continued development and exceptional customer feedback, Illuminis Insight Software is upscaling, rebranding its successful core business intelligence tool and launching to new markets in the UK and internationally.
It is an exciting progression both for Illuminis and for its managing partners Paul North and Moira Myers. They have employed the best technical resource for growth and embraced support from brand specialists Yellow Yoyo to drive a strong, creative image and narrative for their exciting product expansion.
Octelas is the brand name to remember. This business intelligence software from Illuminis is developed specifically to simplify the management of your business and co-ordinate your sales and operation performance data into one simple to use product.
By means of its fast and effective analysis, you can predict trends, stay ahead of the competition and improve profitability at the same time. Octelas offers significant benefits to
companies in manufacturing and distribution and more recently is also proving invaluable in a variety of other business sectors, including accountancy and dentistry.
Every business has the data it needs to significantly improve performance hidden in plain sight in its accounting and other business systems. But if currently you rely upon spreadsheetbased programmes to access this, Octelas offers valuable analyses and solutions in one click to users across your business with minimal training.
Typically, getting to management data in a way that that can provide insightful, actionable information is difficult and time-consuming. More often than not, a person in a senior role is spending time extracting data, then collating, processing and analysing it, using off the shelf software.
For small and medium-sized firms this is often limited to a monthly activity, resulting in out of date information. Manual input and processing easily leads to significant errors.
Larger businesses often use heavyweight business intelligence tools to automate much of this activity. However, these are both very expensive and require significant projects using data experts to implement.
With Octelas, SMEs can now enjoy the benefits of such tools at an attractive price which includes access to expert data analysts.
“By listening to SME businesses, we have built software that has the power to immediately transform business information which directly contributes to the profitability of our clients,” says managing director Paul North. “Having consolidated our manufacturing and distribution software, we are now confident that our enhanced programs can benefit a wide range of business sectors. We are cost effective and attractive to a growing home and international market with current advances in Europe and the USA.”