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DATA DOG

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Unleash the potential of artificial intelligence

Technology is at a tipping point.

The explosion of data – and emergence of powerful new technologies to exploit it – is enabling us to build the impossible. AI technologies like machine learning and expert systems are reshaping industries and disrupting business models. And they’re helping organisations to create opportunities, boost productivity and cut costs. How will you take advantage?

We look beyond the hype.

At Data Dog, we transform the way businesses plan, schedule and optimise their processes and operations. We’ll help you identify where technology can genuinely add value to your business. And we’ll work with you to co-create solutions that give you a competitive edge, while saving you time and money.

"Superior technical ability is rare. Ability combined with personality is rare still. The single most important factor in any partnership is people, and working with the team at DATA DOG is consistently stimulating and fun. They have proven over and over their ability to understand, question, drive forward and deliver on projects. I give them my full professional and personal endorsement."

Dr. Daniel J Hulme / CEO of Satalia

Make the shift to an AI-driven future

Data is today’s business currency. Invest yours wisely

Transformative technologies like AI allow firms to generate value from their data. Businesses must get on board with them sooner, not later.

But many lack the tools to reap the benefits of AI. That’s where Data Dog comes in.


How we help

We build bespoke, AI-based applications that revolutionise your resource planning, supply chain, sales and customer service operations. Our products can tackle isolated problems, or provide end-to-end optimisation.

Our cross-functional team is made up of software engineers, data analysts, mathematicians and product managers. Together, they create solutions that give you a competitive advantage.

"We have been consistently impressed with the team’s ability to deliver a complex application in a short time frame, and with their level of commitment and support."

George Mills

Value through agility and co-creation

We take a highly collaborative approach to developing solutions. Our clients become part of our team, and together we create products that meet their specific needs. We don’t work to rigid lists of pre-defined requirements. Using agile techniques, we iterate and deliver valuable features during every development cycle.

Our ethos allows us to dig deep into clients’ business operations and processes, and build innovative solutions which transform the way they work. It also helps us forge lasting partnerships with clients, as we’re continually finding ways to help them achieve more.

By the numbers

  • 30
    Developers

  • 4
    Product Managers

  • 6
    Years of experience

Management team

    • Domas Janickas
    • Co-founder / CEO
    • Domas is passionate about latest advances in technology, data science and AI. He loves delving into our clients’ business challenges and finding ways to help them achieve more.
    • LinkedIn
    • Gytis Koryzna
    • Co-founder / COO
    • Gytis is excellent at balancing our ambitious goals with practical follow-through. His job is to ensure that our organisation is running smoothly and efficiently as a whole.
    • LinkedIn

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Our
People

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Be more than a cog in the machine

We’re not big on hierarchy at Data Dog. The whole team works as one unit.

Our transparent structure is made up of autonomous, self-organising teams, and enables decentralised decision-making. Everyone’s ideas are equally valued, and equally open to question.

We know that the talent, creativity and innovation of our people is what shapes our future. That’s why we’ve built our own unique career development system, so that everyone has the chance to learn and grow.

What makes us tick?

Our purpose is to express ourselves and make a difference through the solutions we create.


What we do to achieve this is underpinned by our four core principles:

Create experiences

Inspire admiration and trust in every interaction inside and outside of the company.

Think like an owner

Every action you take has an impact on our success and growth.

Be a legend

Your passion and talent inspires everyone to never settle and to create the extraordinary.

Second home

It’s where friendships start, fun stuff happens and you have your slippers on.

Want to be a Data Dog?
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Case
Studies

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DFS

Last-mile delivery routing optimisation for the largest sofa manufacturer in the United Kingdom.

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iBuildNew

Creation of a lead management system for property developers and builders in Australia.

ibuildnew.com.au
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GreenGold

Data-driven resource and operations planning for a Swedish timberland investments and management company.

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Swift Travel

UK travel agency’s shift to streamlined, automated business processes.

www.swifttravel.com
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The Challenge

DFS is the largest sofa manufacturer in the United Kingdom. As the demand for home delivery continues to increase, so too does the need for retailers to implement delivery operations that maximise efficiency and meet customer expectations. DFS’s existing process of scheduling orders was a complicated system of non-automated business functions. The schedules were far from optimal, manually intensive to produce and under utilised expensive resources.

Our solution

We developed a last-mile delivery solution which combines cutting-edge algorithms and machine learning to optimise the routes and schedules of thousands of orders every day.

In the previous method, operators would call customers to arrange deliveries, and only after all orders were arranged would a schedule be created. Operators could not offer customers’ specific time slots, as they did not know when during the day the delivery could be made. We built a custom algorithm that accounted for the various business constraints of DFS, including vehicle restrictions, loading times and driver shifts. We fine-tuned it to run a full optimisation in under 500 milliseconds, which was necessary for it to continuously offer the most optimal time windows to customers. In our solution, the schedule is live, and is re-optimised continuously. The newly generated schedule from one order informs the system of which slots the operator can offer the next customer. This helps operators to arrange only the orders they have the capacity to deliver, and maximises the number of slots they can offer their customers.

The time is takes to deliver furniture depends on factors such as it’s size, the proximity of parking and the number of staircases en route to the customer. These variables made it previously impossible to predict time at door and these ‘unknowns’ resulted in inaccurate schedules. We built a machine learning model that took product, telematics and locational data and predicted, based on previous orders, how long time at door would be. These time at door predictions were then fed back into our algorithm — improving the accuracy of future schedules.

We regularly tested our system, it’s features and usability with the technical teams, operators and drivers of DFS to ensure it met their operational needs. We worked together to build business intelligence dashboards that enabled operators to make more informed decisions. Time slots for instance, were coloured green, orange and red; and operator’s encouraged customers to choose ‘green’ slots — which if selected, would result in a more eco-friendly delivery schedule for DFS. The solution was hosted on the Cloud — this ensured the solution would scale with demand, and our algorithms had the computational power to run at the speed and frequency that the system required.

Against leading vendors, our solution increased capacity by around 5% and reduced idle time by 10% — this meant DFS could use less vans, and fewer drivers to make more deliveries. These marginal gains result in significant savings across thousands of orders every day. It has also enabled DFS to offer time slots, which improved customer experience and loyalty. “The speed and effectiveness of the rollout has been outstanding. I’ve overseen many system implementations in the last 10 years — and I’ve never seen anything as stable and as user friendly from day one,” says Daniel Wallace, Head of Supply Chain at DFS.

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The Challenge

iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. Traditionally, home buyers had to look at endless builder’s websites, compare hundreds of house plans, and spend countless weekends travelling from one display village to another to find their perfect home. iBuildNew’s goal was to allow home buyers to choose the ideal option that matches their needs from the comfort of their own home.

Acting as the matchmaker between builders, developers and potential home buyers iBuildNew wanted to simplify the process for both sides. Their aim was to provide the builders and developers with a convenient way to not only display their portfolio, but also to handle incoming enquiries. iBuildNew needed a platform that would create a smooth customer experience for the prospective buyers and help builders and developers manage leads more effectively.

Our solution

We built an interactive digital platform centered around the needs of home buyers, complete with portfolio and leads management tools for builders and developers.

Ensuring a smooth and compelling customer journey was our main goal when designing the platform. The dynamic landing page was developed as part of the strategic marketing plan to drive qualified leads back to the website. Once on the site, the interactive gallery showcasing the properties, land and new home designs allows home buyers to easily compare all their options in one place. The search engine filters specifically designed for home building help them to quickly eliminate hundreds of options and narrow it down to a manageable shortlist of a few that best match their specific requirements. The same technology, through the use of relevant suggestions, enables iBuildNew consultants to provide a more valuable personal customer service.

Striking the right balance between the needs of potential home buyers and those of iBuildNew partners was the key. We created an intuitive portfolio management system for the builders and developers which makes setting up and updating their portfolios quick and simple. The leads management tool gives them visibility of all customer enquiries in one place, regardless of the channel they came through: be it through the website or calling an iBuildNew consultant directly. This allows them to save time following-up with leads and cut reaction times with intelligent notifications and alerts. It also helps iBuildNew to stay up-to-date on the progress of leads and ensure consistent positive experience for their customers.

The ability to manage all leads conveniently in one place allowed iBuildNew to attract some of the largest property developers and builders in the market. This, combined with the platform’s engaging user experience and smart search tools helped iBuildNew secure a place among the most visited real estate websites in Australia. We are now working with iBuildNew to help them simplify the new home buying process even more for their customers: integrating property conveyancing, financing and other partner services into the platform.

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When your operations planning depends on meticulous analysis of thousands of interconnected data points, relying on manpower alone is far from ideal. With Greengold’s domain expertise we were able to deconstruct their business process and used it to create a flexible platform with data-driven forest management at its core. The system completely transformed Greengold’s resource and operations planning which significantly boosted efficiency and resulted in dramatic quality improvements. They estimate that sustaining the same quality and efficiency levels using the old methods would require increasing their resources by a third. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by customers as well: since competitor solutions lack sophistication the system has become one of the key differentiators for Greengold.

Realising the need to use data

Greengold is an independent Swedish private equity house specialising in timberland investments and management in Europe. Property-related data is an essential element of their workflow. “We operate in several different countries, so there is lots of data. One of our major challenges is managing all that data effectively,” says Simonas Žebrauskis, Greengold’s Investment Manager for the Baltics region. “We have a stream of potential investment opportunities and we need an effective way to track and evaluate them. Then, once we identify the right properties and acquire them, the data we have gathered needs to feed right into our planning process.”

Due to the nature of the business, changes in Greengold’s customers’ investment portfolios are quite frequent. “We constantly acquire new timberland assets and sell existing ones,” says Darius Dumbrava, IT Manager and Forestry Technologist for Greengold, “and new clients usually bring their own portfolios with them.” These changes are problematic, because the management of forest operations and resource planning are highly dependent on a number of property-specific factors. “There is a lot of interconnected data and business logic involved.”

Greengold’s existing process for gathering data about each property was inconsistent and manually intensive. This meant that acquisition of new properties was slow and inefficient and that resource planning for existing properties was very complex and labour intensive. “We needed to start using data and we had to do it effectively. If you are shuffling through the papers for half a year, you are not competitive,” comments Dumbrava. “There are certain cycles in forest management that we need to take into account when planning, and when you accumulate a certain critical mass it becomes impossible to effectively plan using manual methods,” adds Žebrauskis.

In order to stay ahead of the competition Greengold needed a solution that would make their in-house processes more effective and allow for a slicker customer experience. “We spent two months on an intensive search for an off-the-shelf solution, but we couldn’t find anything suitable. The software tools available in the forestry sector were either simple databases or task organisers, there was nothing that would be sophisticated and flexible enough for our needs,” says Dumbrava.

Transforming resource and operations planning

Working together with Greengold to understand the intricacies of forest management we built a flexible business platform which enables data-driven resource and operations planning.

The new system allows for quick and painless absorption of information about new properties. This has greatly improved the experience for Greengold’s customers as changes in their investment portfolios can now be processed much faster. “Clients like the visibility, ease of access and the clear structure of the information, and the fact that we can provide them with quick answers even to the unconventional questions,” says Dumbrava. He also adds that the inherent flexibility of the system has made expanding the business into new markets a lot easier: using modules allows them to test new approaches while keeping the core of the system intact.

Our solution has also helped Greengold to completely change their operations planning process. Forestry activities required at each growth stage are determined by specific rules and data about the trees within the property. Therefore, employees needed a long learning process to get familiar with the specifics of each property before they could start managing them effectively. “It’s not an easy task to make sure that everything gets done and that it gets done in the right order, especially when the workload increases,” says Dumbrava. By gaining a deep understanding of our client’s business process we were able to build the business logic into the core of the system and help Greengold shift to data-driven operations planning.

“We were just releasing the resource planning module of the system into live when one of our key sales people left. We decided to rearrange priorities and see whether we could keep going with the existing resources. And it worked because the system had automated a large part of the workload,” says Dumbrava.

Based on data specific to each property the algorithm forecasts the activities that will be required for each of the plots within the properties and allocates them to employees. The integrated resource planning module gives the staff flexibility to adjust the schedules as needed. “We can forecast when the work will be finished and there is also no risk of losing an important task as it ends up in someone’s queue anyway,” says Dumbrava. To help employees make the most of the system, the user experience on mobile devices was designed after carefully analysing the needs of employees who require access on the go. As a result, planning of forest operations is now efficient and simple.

The new system automated previously labour intensive processes which has dramatically improved quality and efficiency. Žebrauskis estimates that if they tried to maintain the same quality and efficiency levels using the old methods they would need to increase their current resources by a third. Moreover, since such an integrated solution is unique in the forestry sector, it has become one of the key differentiators for Greengold: “We advertise it as a benefit to our clients. It is not just software: there are complex business rules, there is data and there are tools, and those three elements make up a unified system,” says Dumbrava. Žebrauskis adds that the system is now an integral part of Greengold’s business: “I believe it adds massive value. Being able to visualise the data that we have and using it to drive our planning helps us make faster and better decisions, with higher returns.”

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Highly skilled workforce and excellent customer service are key to success. But effectiveness of your internal processes is just as important. Using an iterative approach to development we helped Swift Travel to massively streamline their pipeline and unearth the benefits of using a central data source to manage all activities. The new system cut the quotation process from 25 minutes to just 5 and standardised Swift Travel’s workflow. This eliminated errors, enabled close collaboration and added transparency to the process, which not only positively impacted team morale but also made scaling up much easier. The benefits extended beyond the sales team when accounting department adopted the system, encouraging collaboration across teams. All these internal improvements allow Swift Travel’s experts to focus on the most value adding activities as the same consultant can now deal with 4 times more clients.

Searching for the right tool

Swift Travel is a UK based travel specialist working with leading airlines, accommodation, cruise, rail and ground transportation providers. In such a competitive sector a seamless customer experience is essential. ”We’re quite boutique: we have a small number of accounts, but they’re big accounts,“ says Edward Riddle, the Account Manager for Swift Travel, who nurtures the relationships with their corporate clients. “We require very deep knowledge of our client accounts to make it as convenient as possible for them to book travel.”

While Swift Travel’s customers enjoyed great service, the company’s quotation process was far from optimal. “We weren’t serving enough people. Our service level was high but the quotation process was our major bottleneck,” says Riddle. “We were underperforming.” Outdated technologies were used for exchanging information with suppliers, enquiries were registered by hand, customer data and booking records were scattered across different spreadsheets and paper documents. The employees spent a lot of valuable time tracking travel data, creating documents manually and dealing with heaps of paperwork. It was time for a change.

Riddle says the the idea to build the system came about because of the lack of effective sales tools in the market tailored specifically to the travel sector: “We searched far and wide before diving straight in and building it ourselves, but couldn’t really find it. There were CRM tools which were basically just glorified databases, and booking tools, there was nothing that handled both sides effectively.” He continues to describe the frustration with the tools available on the market, which, instead of helping, complicated the sales process even more: “It was an overkill. And the last thing we wanted to do is to destroy our process with even more destructive tools.”

From a quotation tool to a fully fledged pipeline management system

Agile processes let us start small and build iteratively towards a more comprehensive solution. What started as an attempt to speed up the quotation process evolved into a system that not only streamlined the whole travel planning pipeline but also helped Swift Travel bring its separate business functions together.

The first step was building a platform where enquiry information, once entered, could easily flow to the next part in the process. We then identified the major pain points in the workflow: checking travel options with suppliers was both complex and slow due to the outdated technology that was used, while crafting quote documents manually was extremely time-consuming. Integration with supplier systems, automated document generation and email functions helped to significantly cut the time it takes to get from initial enquiry to the final quote. “We estimated that to get a simple quote out to a client took 25 minutes before. Now it’s 5 minutes,” says Riddle.

But we didn’t stop there. Swift Travel’s internal processes were full of opportunities to streamline and automate. Previously the employees were maintaining a pipeline of leads, managing follow-ups, booking trips and creating documents manually. “There was an actual physical paper diary. There was a central responsible person and everyone sent confirmations to them,” says Riddle. The information about the clients was held in different places and in varying formats, therefore it was difficult to track bookings and there was a lot of duplication of effort. “We had filing cabinets with a paper file for each account. It was a very clunky process that relied on human input. There was missing data, and data errors.” Expanding the system to cover the whole pipeline standardised the workflow and eliminated errors. Together with intelligent reminders and diary function this helps Swift Travel specialists stay on top of their leads and ensure a consistently positive customer experience.

With the new system Swift Travel employees have access to all actionable customer data in one place: all past transactions, every interaction with the customer, their preferences and needs are just a few clicks away. While previously each booking was tied down to one account manager, the new system has enabled collaboration on customer accounts. “Now we can easily employ sales support. It’s far simpler and easier to scale”, says Riddle. Having a central data source also had a positive impact on team morale. With the ability to track all actions on each booking the whole sales process is a lot more transparent. “There’s far less blaming of each other,” says Riddle.

By continuing to build iteratively we were able to expand the system beyond the needs of the sales team. “As we’ve gone on we thought this is such a rich data source we might as well add more functions to streamline the business,” says Riddle. With addition of supplier payments, projected profit and custom reports the system was adopted as one of the main tools by the accounting department. “A lot of separate parts of the business have been brought together. The reporting of the data within the system has massively simplified the way we track all the numbers”, comments Riddle.

The system has greatly streamlined the whole sales pipeline. Integration with the suppliers’ systems and automation of everyday tasks allows Swift travel experts to focus on what matters the most: delighting their customers. “Our conversion rate has gone up,” says Riddle. “And the same consultant can now deal with 4 times more clients.” It has also opened up the doors to close collaboration and made the process a lot more transparent. The positive effects were felt outside of the sales team as well when the accounting department adopted the system. As Riddle reflects on the evolution of the product, he says it’s hard to believe how much it has expanded from the initial idea. Our Agile development methods coupled with Swift Travel’s eagerness to innovate made that transformation possible. As Riddle sums it up: “It’s amazing how much we’ve achieved with a fairly small decentralised team.”

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photo  |  2015-09-13

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