TWO of the entrepreneurial minds from Compare the Market are looking to cause further industry disruption, after engaging with a popular business support programme.

Tech start-up Data2Action is bringing to market a ‘first-of-its-kind digital platform’ to help SMEs and education providers navigate the complex world of data protection and privacy.

Founded in 2017 by two former directors of BGL Group, the parent company of Compare the Market, Data2Action’s Virtual Data Protection Officer (DPO) platform will officially launch later this year following six months of development and BETA testing.

Based around a centralised dashboard, the end-to-end portal will guide and support businesses on their compliance journey, acting as a central repository for all their data protection needs.

The concept is the brainchild of co-founders Jason Turner and Sarah Burns, both of whom played a key role in helping their previous employer, BGL, exploit its data by understanding how best to utilise it to drive efficiency and effectiveness across the business.

Boasting a rich pedigree in data management, development and protection, they witnessed first-hand how large organisations across the globe were effectively using data to drive business opportunity and growth and made it their mission to make data more accessible to all.

Jason said: “We live in a digital world where billions of data points are created each and every day however the vast majority of businesses are still lagging way behind larger organisations when it comes to realising the potential of and protecting their data.

“Our team are ‘data in business’ experts and have helped firms from an array of industries use data to improve sales, operational efficiency and reduce risks and this was exactly why we launched Data2Action.

“Data protection remains a continual challenge for many SME’s and educational trusts and yet, they don’t always have the skills, knowledge nor resources to manage this complex subject successfully.

“As part of our service offering, we are experienced Data Protection Officers and we recognised that there is a need in the market to offer an easy to use, cost effective solution to help these organisations navigate the challenges that regulation can bring.  The development of our unique Virtual Data Protection Officer (DPO) platform is, we believe, a fabulous opportunity to meet those needs.”

The launch of the platform was supported by the North East SME Innovation Programme, managed by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC). After engaging with innovation adviser Debbie Simpson, the start-up was able to secure the funding and technical support required to undergo extensive testing and ensure the platform was market ready.

Jason added: “The support we’ve received from the Innovation Programme has been fantastic. Not only did we secure funding to support the research and development of the platform, but we were also signposted to a number of other organisations that specialise in helping companies just like us. We can’t thank Debbie and the team enough for their support.”

Debbie said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Jason, Sarah and the team at Data2Action on the development of this platform which has the potential to be truly game-changing for small and medium sized businesses.

“The Innovation Programme was set up to provide the funding and support required to help the region’s SME business community realise their potential by bringing new solutions to market that can significantly boost growth and productivity and Data2Action is a perfect example of how we continue to do just that.”