In the digital age, data plays a vital role in the functioning of most businesses. But for a select few, data really is at the heart of everything they do.

On this weeks Tech Map Tour, we’ll be taking a trip down the Data line and exploring some of the Leeds companies driving data in the city region.



The Data City


Kicking things off on our tour of the Data line, at the junction where Data and AI meet and you’ll find The Data City. Born from a universal frustration with the inefficiencies of identifying businesses and sectors, The Data City is an information services firm that combines Open Data and Machine Learning to track industry data in real-time. 

Defining a sector in order to aid business strategy was once a time consuming and changeable activity, the results of which could often be inaccurate or quickly become outdated. But through Data Explorer – their custom list-builder software – The Data City have created a valuable tool for decision-makers, who can now painlessly access relevant, timely information on any business or sector they choose.

Among other things, the platform offers instant keyword search, unlimited querying and sector definition, access to pre-built databases that overcome SIC, and access to 4.6 million UK companies all with financials for the past 5 years. Given The Data City’s efficacy in the field, it’s no wonder they were dubbed one of the 50 Most Exciting Companies for 2021 by Yorkshire Business Insider, and finalists in the ‘Innovation of the Year’ category at the 2021 British Data Awards.


The Data Shed


Next stop on the tour is The Data Shed – a data consultancy based out of Mabgate Mills that is changing the game at empowering businesses to put data in the hands of the right people. They use a combination of tried-and-tested tools, mixed with cutting-edge thinking, practises and technology to deliver the most simple, and most effective solutions for their clients – who range from healthtech giants to non-for-profit tech disruptors.

The Data Shed are a key player in the local tech ecosystem, and their growth trajectory is unparalleled, having doubled their team in the last year alone and with new Shedders joining the team each month. With no shortage of recognition from the industry, this year Co-founder Anna Sutton has already scooped ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Women in Tech Awards and The Data Shed has been shortlisted for ‘SME Best Place to Work in Digital’ at the 2021 Computing Digital Technology Leaders Awards, and for ‘Best Tech Place to Work’ and the ‘Tech4Good’ awards at Leeds Digital Festival Awards.



Up next is BigChange – who boast the world’s best 5-in-1 mobile workforce solution – seamlessly connecting offices, mobile workers and customers. Their data-driven platform, Jobwatch serves over 1,600 small to medium-sized enterprise clients across 20 industries, from plant hire to food service, putting everything they need to know to manage their workforce at their fingertips.

Founded in 2013 by Martin Port, BigChange set out to bring tangible benefits to their clients, from reducing fuel use to preventing workplace accidents and even claiming to save 8 hours of admin costs per month for every mobile worker.

The business, which has achieved nine years of consistent growth, is preparing to expand rapidly across multiple international markets and is building the next generation of its technology platform – we’re expecting big things from BigChange, so watch this space!


Hyper Group


Hyper Group was created to help retailers and brands use advanced analytics to understand customer and product relationships. Their HyperFinity platform allows businesses to make unified, customer-led decisions with the insight they uncover, and deliver added customer value. 

Established in Leeds by Hyper’s four co-founders – Damon Bryan, Adam Barrowcliff, Thomas Hill and Peter Denby – the company was born out of a frustration with the lack of technology services available to assist retailers and brands in understanding their customers, and helping them to make intelligent, data-led decisions.

Through a combination of AI-powered software and tailored consulting, the company provides “hyper” personalised insights into customer behaviour. Since its inception in 2019, the Hyper Group has gone from strength to strength, and following the groups recent successes with ASDA, the NHS and British jeweller Beaverbrooks, they plan to scale even further – doubling their headcount to 22 team members before the year is out.  




Hark is an award-winning Energy Analytics and Industrial IoT company based in Leeds. Known for the innovative technology in their subscription cloud platform, they’re on a mission to improve efficiency, maximise yield and reduce waste across the city region and beyond!

Their flagship product, Hark Analytics, empowers the visualisation and analysis of data from industrial assets, building management systems, and other sensors to monitor and report in real-time – very clever stuff. This data can then be democratised for operational directors, asset operators, engineers, analysts, and data teams and truly putting the data front and centre.

Trusted by some of UK’s leading organisations – including Microsoft, ASDA and Sainsburys’ – Hark Analytics is quickly becoming the go-to platform for Energy Managers and Asset Operators around the country, informing everything from preventative maintenance to regulatory compliance. 


ODI Leeds

Rounding off our tour of the Leeds Data line is The Open Data Institute.

The ODI came onto the scene with a simple mission – to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem across the UK. First co-founded in 2012 by the inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and artificial intelligence expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt, ODI Leeds was founded a year later by Paul Connell – and has been connecting, equipping and inspiring people around the world to innovate with data ever since.

By helping people to identify and address how open data can be used effectively in their sector to improve decision making and processes, deliver more efficient and effective services and products, The ODI are helping to fuel economic growth and productivity here in Leeds and right across the UK.

To date they’ve worked on 83 open innovation & data projects, hosted 1088 events and amassed a whopping 11 million tweet impressions!


We’ve reached the end of the line, but your journey doesn’t have to stop here. Why not take a look at some of the other brilliant tech companies fuelling the Data movement right here in Leeds? Check out the Leeds Tech Map now and find out how our city is leading the UK digital sector.



Additional sources:

Leeds-based BigChange plans to increase workforce to 500 people as it appoints new chief executive – Yorkshire Post

New Yorkshire: The Leeds firm creating an AI-powered ‘business brain’ for retailers


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