Page 37

Idiro Analytics  Small Business Profile

Commission in the area of advanced technology,” remembers Connolly. “There, we worked on the early internet and engaged with CERN and the team of Tim BernersLee, who founded the worldwide web.” Connolly began working on data management and analytics at this time, and when he returned to Ireland in the late nineties, he was offered a role with Eircell – the telecommunications company which would later be acquired by Vodafone. Telecoms was a booming industry during this period, and the company spent a lot of money on new technologies that could help it understand and serve its clients better. It was here that Connolly first really got to grips with analytics – an experience which, ultimately, encouraged him to set up Idiro Analytics in 2004. Now with 20 staff members, Idiro Analytics mostly serves blue chip clients, though it has also carried out work for innovative SMEs looking to extract more value from their data. “Broadly speaking, our target market is those companies who are looking to improve how they interact, serve and understand their own customers,” says Connolly. “For many of our clients, we provide what can be termed ‘analytics-as-a-service’. In that scenario, we take our client’s data and transform and analyse it with the objective of giving the client a very defined insight.”

Today’s Trends A number of industry trends are currently shaping Connolly’s business. From a technical point of view, many

organisations are now moving to the cloud for their infrastructure needs. The cloud is invariably faster, easier and cheaper than trying to maintain infrastructure in-house, except for those companies that already have the means and resources to do so. Additionally, a general shortage of data analytics talent is shaping the sector, stoking a talent war in the Irish market, as well as internationally. Regulation has also driven dramatic changes to the analysis of data, but Connolly views these particular developments as positive. “Protecting consumer data has to be viewed as a good thing, and the clarity provided by GDPR has removed a lot of areas of ambiguity that hitherto had existed,” he says. “On one hand, companies have stopped certain types of analysis, but on the other, they have invested more in the areas of analytics permitted by law.” Given its status as a small business, Idiro Analytics faces a number of its own challenges. “Business is good but it still feels that the government panders to the needs of multinationals over indigenous companies,” says Connolly. “For example, in the area of talent recruitment, giving grants to large, well-funded multinationals to create jobs for people who already have jobs – for example, in the IT sector – seems counter-productive from a taxpayer and indigenous business perspective.” Connolly also alludes to the housing crisis as having an impact upon his and other small businesses, with the cost of living being driven up and thus putting

pressure on salaries. “Personally, I think there should be an initiative to drive new business to cities and regions outside Dublin,” he says. “It would take the pressure off the Dublin housing market, take pressure off salary inflation in Dublin, and would give a much needed boost to those areas outside of Dublin.” In spite of the challenges facing his company, however, business is going well for Idiro Analytics. The company is on track to grow by about 30 per cent, and deal flow for 2019 is looking strong. Connolly says that the company hopes to establish branches in three to five European capitals, such as Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as an operational centre in the Caribbean/Latin America region, given the amount of work it does in that region. “We plan to increase our headcount by about 100 per cent over the next three years,” he says. “The business is there to justify that.”

Real Value In his capacity as CEO of Idiro Analytics, Aidan Connolly has developed a strong relationship with the SFA: “They don’t point you to a website or document and say ‘read that’ – they actually talk to us and provide real value to our business. I have to say that they are also very responsive and understand the value of time and timeliness.”


034_BB 2018_Q3_Small Business Profile_V1.indd 35

19/10/2018 09:55

Profile for Ashville Media Group

Better Business Q3 2018  

Official magazine of Small Firms Association

Better Business Q3 2018  

Official magazine of Small Firms Association