With concepts like AI, cybersecurity and the value of data on a seemingly exponential rise in significance, it’s an exciting time to be an analytics company – especially in New Zealand’s largest city. Datamine has been helping clients in Auckland unlock the value in their data for nearly 25 years, and over that time we’ve watched the birth and growth of a number of other innovative and successful businesses that, like us, exist to help people make better use of their data.
When our consultants meet with prospective clients, they’re often asked about other Kiwi analytics businesses operating in this space. If clients are asking this question, we figure our readers are as well – and as counterintuitive as it might seem, we think it’s important to give credit where credit is due (competitor or not)!
Without further ado, here are five of Auckland’s best big data and analytics companies to keep an eye on in 2020.
Easily the oldest and most well-established on this list, IT management and storage company Datacom has been kicking ass and taking names on the world stage. Founded in Christchurch in 1965, they’ve since expanded to 30 global offices and over 6,500 staff, with a particular focus on the US and Australian markets – 2019 saw some ‘big wins’ in the US for Datacom, with representatives saying they’ve secured a number of undisclosed marquee multinational clients and firmly established their foothold in the Americas. In Australia, the corporation has also won a $2m Microsoft Dynamics support contract with the Department of the Environment and Energy, which they’re hoping to bolster with more office locations (such as Perth, which opened September 2019).
Don’t let the international expansion fool you – Datacom is still a major player on its home turf, having recently invested $52m into its NZ data centres, the largest of which is in Auckland. In addition to its primary focus on software and IT management, Datacom offers a number of other services like consulting, cloud services, payroll and HR systems and enterprise solutions. Notable Kiwi clients include the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), Toll NZ and Yellow.
2. 11Ants Analytics
Every Kiwi loves a NZ startup success story – 11Ants Analytics is that and more. Founded in 2007 by WaikatoLink, the University of Waikato's commercial arm, 11Ants offers clients a retail analytics platform (RAP) that uses their loyalty programme data to deliver them insights. The application, hosted on Azure, won Microsoft NZ’s Innovative Software Product of the Year award in 2015, and they’re shortlisted again this year for the Microsoft NZ partner business application award.
What makes 11Ants Analytics so special? Their product. It’s so unique, in fact, Air New Zealand and Aimia bought the company jointly in 2015, hoping to use the technology across dozens of new countries, industries and verticals. One of the main beachheads here was the travel industry – Air New Zealand, who happen to be one of the clients we support with marketing automation, wanted to create a similar platform (11Ants AAP) for the airline industry that can analyse flight routes, products, customer behaviour, promotions, frequent flier programmes and sales channels.
Since the acquisition and relocation to Air New Zealand’s Auckland HQ, the startup has expanded into multiple countries throughout Austrasia, and more recently, Latin America – a feat that is particularly notable due to the language barrier and 11Ants’ subsequent hurtling of said barrier (the RAP now speaks fluent Spanish and Portugese). Keep your eye on 11Ants Analytics. Who knows where they’ll go or what they’ll develop next!
One of the newer kids on the analytics block, Qrious is an Auckland-based company owned and backed by Spark Ventures, who you might know as the mother company of Morepork Security and Lightbox (and the organisation streaming the Rugby World Cup!). Since founding Qrious in 2014, Spark has been breaking further into the analytics sphere with a series of acquisitions, such as the 2017 purchase of Ubiquity, a Kiwi owned and operated automation platform provider and the more recent acquisition of NOW (previously Wherescape) Consulting in 2019.
Qrious has been doing some pretty cool stuff over the last couple of years, like partnering with the NZ DoC to better protect kākāpō and kiwi through AI and machine learning bird call recognition, which will aid conservation efforts moving forward. Like many of Spark’s successful subsidiaries, Qrious will be an interesting company to keep an eye on in the future as they integrate their newer acquisitions!
4. Isobar New Zealand (previously Little Giant)
Founded in 2011, Little Giant was a digital and creative analytics agency with not-so-little ambitions – having been named as one of Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing technology companies in 2015, 2016 and 2017, they were acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network in 2017 (the same year they won New Zealand Digital Agency of the Year). The acquisition marked the beginning of Little Giant’s 2-year transition into Isobar New Zealand, and over that time they’ve won an impressive amount of work in the digital sphere, such as development and support of platforms for notable companies like Harcourts NZ.
In addition to the creative services supplied by the original Little Giant team, Dentsu Group’s network and reach is enabling Isobar NZ to expand into the wider technology and digital marketing space. In the words of Rob Harvey, CEO of Dentsu Group New Zealand, “This rebrand strengthens both Dentsu and Isobar’s presence in the New Zealand market, scaling the network’s local creative and digital capabilities, and giving Little Giant the incredible opportunity to ramp up their creative and technology offering, transforming and growing businesses.” To fully round out their offering, Dentsu Group has also acquired Davanti Consulting, a Kiwi firm that specialises in digital transformation.
5. Data Insight
You might be able to guess from the name, but analytics partner Data Insight is dedicated to helping businesses uncover insights within their data. Founded in 2012, the company saw its early successes in the property data analytics sphere – Valocity, a property valuation service for banks, was Data Insight’s flagship offering, winning a number of awards and ultimately earning a Callaghan Innovation R&D Growth Grant to enable further expansion.
In 2016, Valocity split out from Data Insight to allow each entity to grow and specialise. Since the split, Data Insight has moved more into analytics consulting, body shopping and auditing out of its Auckland HQ, working with a number of significant retail, media and utility businesses across the country.
Congratulations to these top five analytics companies, and all of the other firms in Auckland that are breaking ground in the analytics and AI industry. If your company would like to be considered for the next review, please let us know. Until then, stay updated with our newest data-driven insights through Datamine’s blog, and check out the Datamine Guide to Data Strategies below if you want access to a comprehensive blueprint for analytics implementation.
Sources (in addition to information from 11Ants, Datacom, Qrious, Isobar and Data Insight websites and LinkedIn pages):
- Qrious acquires NOW Consulting
- Qrious helping kakapo and kiwi