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Business Strategy

Fast growth for health data specialist ViewItUK

Overview:

ViewItUK is a spin-out from The University of Manchester that was set up to access a niche market in data management analysis, visualisation and reporting. 

The company’s main focus is the healthcare sector, where researchers and health professionals require management of their data and instant access in the form of charts, maps and pivot tables.

Clients include Public Health England, the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy, Responsible Gambling Trust and organisations which provide cancer, alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation.

The challenge:

The Hub was initially approached by the University in 2014 to investigate the potential for commercialising the technology of data visualisation and mapping, and developing a spin-out commercial arm to focus on programmes relating to cancers, allergy and other health-related issues using specific source code technology.

With interest in the business growing, the key challenge soon became how to strategically support the company to meet its forecasted turnover and expand its customer base beyond the health sector. 

The solution:

Working with academics from the University, the Hub’s business advisor Dr Yousef Taktak helped develop a growth strategy for the new business which focused on elements including turnover and service development, as well as staffing, marketing and potential competitors.

To achieve sustained growth, the business began by working towards four planned objectives, including digital marketing, operations, developing new target markets and innovative technology, with the aim being to deliver increased profit while acting as a strong base to commercialise services and technology, and expand its customer base.

The business was also referred to Hub partner BTMR Manchester to support the financial and accountancy aspects of the business. 

Founding directors Prof Michael Donmall and Dr Andrew Jones explain: “We have been able to adapt our pricing structure, generate more customer meetings and further develop the business.

“Our new data visualisation software is expanding in our target markets. By adapting our internal processes and concentrating on innovation and new patented software development, we’re determined to push for more growth in these sectors.”

Since working with the Hub, the business has seen income generation increase by 50% to £100,000 in the first year and ViewItUK expect that to double by the end of year two, in 2017, and reach £500,000 by year three.

Three senior positions have been created at the business and there are plans to take on an additional data analyst.

Meanwhile they are also working with Centre for Assessment, also part of the Manchester Growth Company, around introducing the ISO 9000 quality management system.

Dr Yousef Taktak adds: “Michael and Andrew knew there was a niche in the market that they had the technical know-how to exploit, but lacked some of the necessary business skills.

“Together we have been able to grow ViewItUK’s customer base and revenues at a much faster rate than anticipated, meaning they can now forecast further growth and employment.”

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