Newcomp Analytics, A Converge Company: Machine Learning, Data Science, Cloud - A path to Analytics Modernization

Chris Foster, VP, Analytics and Data Science
The need to quickly adapt to shifting global market conditions is not only essential for businesses to stay competitive - it is critical to their survival. This urgency has driven businesses around the world to modernize their data pipelines. The obvious goal is to access and evaluate their data with speed and ease; however, complex, siloed, and difficult-to-change data architecture appears as the biggest roadblock to achieving this feat. Organizations are realizing that the ever-evolving economic stage requires them to simplify and standardize data architecture to make it resilient and tolerant to change. Only then can they respond more easily to fluid market demands and take immediate advantage of new opportunities.

“ To thrive in this highly digital market, it’s become clear that every company, public and private, must undergo a comprehensive modernization of their data processes and platforms to be able to make the right decisions at the right time. Luckily, ‘embracing the cloud’ is already a top C-suite agenda item and sets the foundation for time-sensitive data transition work,” says Chris Foster, VP of Analytics and Data Science at Newcomp Analytics (A Converge Company). “However, every business is up against a tight talent market - and in this domain, there is a desperate battle for a limited pool of modern data workers who can turn business requirements into actionable, data-driven insights.”

This is where it is extremely important for companies to find a true analytics partner. Public and private organizations team up with experts like Newcomp because it means immediate access to years of practical experience and technical talent. Often, that partnership will begin with Newcomp delivering an analytics roadmap to define a path for long-term success for the client’s data program.

When companies hunt for an analytics advisor, they should focus on firms with services that span the entire modern data architecture, from strategy to technical development. Companies who take this journey find that a strong partner must have the ability to effectively monitor and distill enormous technical market conditions, identify successful patterns and trends, then use those proven approaches to guide their clients in developing a strengthened analytics posture.

Foster hears the same feedback from clients all over North America. “Our value to them is our ability to quickly deliver powerful results and demonstrate new analytical capabilities without the stress of building, training, and retaining internal data engineering and science talent.”

Newcomp Analytics has a diverse roster of clients, from lean start-ups to large corporations and government agencies. For small businesses, they stand up a cloud-based pipeline to drive advanced analytics, with a focus on using machine learning to discover and prove immediate gains in operational efficiency. Mature firms with established analytics teams bring in Newcomp to avoid false starts and accelerate their data modernization plans. To Foster’s point, an effective partner brings patterns and experiences from other implementations so that the same mistake is not made twice. Large corporations and government agencies even deploy a hybrid team model where the Newcomp Analytics data engineering or science team takes the role of their in-house analytics department.

For example, when Newcomp Analytics started working with chocolatier Lindt Canada more than 15 years ago to support their supply chain, Lindt had no full-time IT personnel for analytics. Lindt now has a team of 10, including a business intelligence (BI) manager and BI developer analysts. Yet Newcomp continues to be an essential and trusted partner, helping the company keep up with the high volume of analytics solutions it needs to address. Lindt has used IBM Cognos Analytics for more than 20 years as an analytics solution for its sales and marketing functions. The application provided these teams with valuable business intelligence and trend analyses across a wide variety of variables from single SKUs to product categories, from store-by-store sales to regional trends, and temporal factors such as seasonality. These insights supported the company’s double-digit growth in Canada during that time.

Emphasizing the Need for a Broad Outlook on Cloud-Related Projects

Since its inception in 1986, Newcomp Analytics has worked with every function and department within a long list of industries. Initially dedicated to business intelligence (BI) technologies, Newcomp grew its expertise to span the entire scope of the analytics architecture (under Emphasizing the Need for a Broad Outlook on CloudRelated Projects), including data integration and warehousing, data engineering and science.
Today, the five central strands of Newcomp’s DNA are: AI and ML, Data Engineering, BI and Data Visualization, Financial Planning and Analytics, and the Cloud. As a part of Cloud services, Newcomp performs critical work around data migration, data warehouse modernization, legacy extracttransform-load (ETL) re-engineering, data lakehouse development, cloud cost modeling, and governance design capabilities.

One thing Newcomp strongly encourages clients to emphasize is the need for a broad lens on cloud-related data projects - beyond technology. Almost every successful data initiative begins with an in-depth understanding of the context of the implementation - “why are we doing this?”, “who needs to be involved?”, “how do we measure success?”. Newcomp takes stock of the technical skills of the existing team and establishes governance & security rules - trust is everything when aiming for lasting adoption of new technology and processes. An effective analytics advisor must also proactively understand the benefits and risks of specific platforms or combinations of solutions and tools within each unique environment.

For example, one of Canada’s largest energy companies came to Newcomp five years ago for advice on modernizing their FP&A (budgeting and forecasting) process, largely done with outdated technology and in Excel. Newcomp’s expertise was recognized, and the team was asked to build an analytics roadmap for the data modernization program. The roadmap gave direction and laid out priority use cases to tackle, and education was done through data literacy workshops along the way. Newcomp partnered with a number of technology vendors for the first phase to ensure that they also had skin in the game. This was critical, and the foundation was built properly thanks to those partnerships. In subsequent phases, Newcomp gradually introduced new layers and processes to their data architecture, and the client now has an extremely modern pipeline, a lakehouse, with machine learning models running and being trained constantly.

“Changing an established, conservative, successful company is never easy - but they trusted us to do it,” says Foster.

Aiding Enterprises in Succeeding with the Right People, Processes, and Resources

One of Newcomp’s most effective tools is its Data Modernization Bootcamp, where participants are given behind-the-scenes access to the tools, methods, and architectures used by the world’s leading data organizations. This free resource also includes strategic guidance in developing an effective in-house cloud analytics environment, from analytics roadmapping to project completion. These tools allow attendees to go back to their companies with knowledge about how to understand, communicate and address the complexities of their cloud, ML, and data analytics ambitions.

Our value to [clients] is our ability to quickly deliver powerful results and demonstrate new analytical capabilities without the stress of building, training, and retaining internal data engineering and science talent

Recently, Newcomp Analytics was strategically acquired by Converge Technology Solutions ( Converge's broad technology partnerships and strong client base present a significant opportunity for Newcomp Analytics’s team to continue its journey as a trusted analytics advisor to clients across all industries - now at a global level. In the press release announcement, Converge made it clear that they believe Newcomp will greatly enhance Converge's ability to help clients gain access to their data and do powerful things with it.

Michael Langton, President of Newcomp Analytics says, “Newcomp Analytics is very excited to be welcomed into the Converge family, allowing us to bring our modern data analytics expertise to the global marketplace.”

By leveraging its ideal mix of over 25 years of experience and agile talent and Converge's expertise, Newcomp Analytics looks all set to continue helping businesses tap into their datasets and unlock powerful insights to solve prevalent business challenges for years to come.

Newcomp Analytics, A Converge Company

Toronto, ON

Chris Foster, VP, Analytics and Data Science

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada Newcomp Analytics is an analytics-driven organization focused on providing solutions specific to business needs by creating an analytics roadmap to long-term success. With hundreds of deployments across 15+ industries, Newcomp Analytics helps reduce the complexity of big data and provide organizations with the tools needed to tackle projects with confidence. Newcomp Analytics’ services and solutions build a map to deeper analytics and allow organizations to become insight-driven with strong analytical capabilities.

Newcomp Analytics, A Converge Company