North East accountancy firm MHA Tait Walker is gearing up for further growth on the back of its specialist Data Insights team, which helps provide strategic growth and insight to businesses across the North East and the UK.

Since it was introduced in 2018, the team has seen workload increase – this growth increased by 150% in 2019, highlighting the demand from clients and new customers for data-driven insight and strategy.

The specialist team gather, analyse and breakdown financial and operational data, so that businesses can make fully informed, quick, intelligent and measurable decisions, with a focus on what really drives value and profitability in their business.

Headed up by associate partner Graham Dotchin and assisted by data insights manager, Richard Tate and data insight executive, Callum McLaren, the team all have a mix of practice and industry experience which gives them a unique and strategic view on how to help clients improve their business, as well as an understanding of what it is like to be on their side of the table and the challenges they face.

The volume of data within any business and available market insight is huge and so it is essential that businesses are able to cut through the white noise and focus on what is really important to drive change or value. The team help businesses utilise the right data to support their strategy, business and market intelligence and financial modelling.

Graham said: “The service is proving to be a real benefit to clients. Quite often business owners know in their gut where their business is at – be it in a good or bad place – but they need that hard data to make it a reality for them. Using data allows them to see exactly what’s going on, make informed choices and engage their staff and stakeholders.”

Graham, added: “We typically spend most of our time assessing, cleaning and connecting financial, operational and sales databases into one central version of the truth. Too many businesses have contradictory information sources than can be confusing to the user and for business plans. Once the single version of the truth is established and maintained with live data we overlay analytics and visuals to bring this data to life. I love presenting information back to clients and seeing the lightbulb switch on.”

The team are currently working with a range of SMEs across different sectors, typically helping businesses assess their strategy, grow profit through customer, product and efficiency analysis, benchmark against competitors, assess working capital needs and providing detailed scenario based forecast modelling to see how changes to the business could impact performance.

The team also work alongside the Corporate Finance team in helping prepare businesses for sale, using data to defend and promote value during company disposals and fundraising projects. Data analytics provides innovative ways to undertake due diligence for investors and acquirers.

Established in 1937, MHA Tait Walker is the largest independent accountancy practice in the North East of England. The firm offers large corporates, owner-managed businesses and individuals a complete set of accountancy and advisory services from taxation to corporate finance.