Our Story

The problem...

Research from Fellows shows that over a million hours are lost searching for documents in the UK every year. Data is everywhere; documents are saved on users’ desktops, and that email you urgently need confirming a change order? It is buried across countless inboxes. You remember George was copied in, but he left six months ago, and his account has been disabled.

EDM Group found that UK workers spend at least 1.5 hours a week looking for information, while 9% spend between 3 and 5 hours. Of course, the issue is far greater. The study only covers wasted hours looking for information. What about the consequences of not finding that silver bullet you need in the upcoming arbitration?

Do you scramble around closing monthly accounts, trying to reconcile purchase orders with invoices, or calling site to see if that material order has been delivered? The issue is everywhere and effects everybody, yet as an industry, we seem happy to trundle along using multiple systems for individual tasks, none of which talk to each other.

A recent KMPG reports suggest that between £5.10 to £6 of direct labour productivity gains could be made for every £1 invested in a complete common data environment.

Right now, companies are spending substantial amounts of money subscribing to a myriad of siloed software solutions. Yet despite all this, records are still incomplete, scattered, and virtually impossible to control.

A report by McKinsey Global Institute found that if you implement strategies to solve collaboration issues and improve procurement and supply chain management, you could see productivity grow by 7% to 8%, with a cost-saving of between 3%-4%.

With data increasing year upon year, and the need to mitigate risks never being more important, the problem is only going to get worse.

That light bulb moment...

The Spencer Group was no different from most other companies, until back in 2000 when they recognised the importance of their data. Their projects were getting larger, but so were the risks to their business. Something had to be done.

They knew there wasn’t a complete solution, a single source of truth that spun the elusive golden thread. Yes, there were a plethora of systems out there that could perform certain tasks and do them well, but there was always a weak link—they all relied on human intervention to connect the dots.

This was the moment DataCow was formed. Back then, it was fondly and perhaps aptly referred to as “SOS,” or Spencer Online System. A team of UK-based engineers and developers embarked on creating a truly unique platform for their business to thrive. A single system that controlled all data and communication, but even that wasn’t enough.

They needed to instantly view costs over multiple projects, all of which had to be live. They connected timesheets to HR data and needed to ensure training records were up to date and maintained. They needed to track materials and create a directory of every subcontractor ever used, whilst simultaneously recording how well they performed and if they would used again.

They swore an email would never be lost again and that everybody on the project would have access to them, even George’s, who only worked for The Spencer Group for half a day, were all there. They wanted to know who had opened a document, who it had been shared with, and when.

The idea was simple: use data once for multiple tasks, connect everything, make it available to all and make it automatic.

The solution...

Fast forward to the present day, DataCow has evolved into a powerful AI and machine learning system with over 15 years active experience, used in more than 500 real-world projects totalling over a £1 billion.

DataCow is a major contributor to the success of The Spencer Group, not only providing a solid platform from which to grow but also serving as a shield to protect against those who would take advantage of a less informed or organised company.

DataCow will serve many roles across your organisation, but most crucially of all—it is an all-in-one single-entry cloud-based system, connecting the same data to everything you do, and ensures nothing is lost.

It is as an operating system for your business, big or small, that is equipped with an impressive arsenal to eliminate data silos.

The Spencer Group is proud of DataCow and believes that its adoption into your business can only provide you with a major advantage. After all, knowledge is power.