Edinburgh data consultancy to embark on new year hiring spree after surge in demand

An Edinburgh-headquartered data consultancy is to embark on a new year hiring spree after scaling up to meet a surge in demand.

Neil Macdonald, founder of Forecast, and Dr Paul van Loon, head of analytics.
Neil Macdonald, founder of Forecast, and Dr Paul van Loon, head of analytics.

Forecast, founded in 2010 by Neil Macdonald, has seen demand for its services take off despite the challenging economic backdrop of the past year.

Responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated digital transformation as more companies race to become data driven and internet-first operations.

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While the business started out as a financial modelling consultancy, it has evolved into a full-service global data business offering financial modelling, data analytics and data visualisation services.

The firm has doubled both headcount and turnover in three consecutive financial years and opened offices in Australia and Canada to support its international client base. That headcount stands at 30 but the fast-growing business is looking to take on up to seven more consultants by Easter.

The addition of data engineering capabilities through a new cloud-based service, Decima, enables the firm to offer a “fully integrated” data offering.

Macdonald said: “We are also delighted to be in a position where we are looking to recruit new consultants across our data analytics, data insights, data engineering and financial modelling teams.

“Decima allows Forecast to deliver tools to its clients in innovative and more scalable ways, by combining the power of data and the wide range of tools and services cloud platforms deliver at low cost.”

The firm has built up a client list that includes major blue-chip companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in media and telecoms, financial services, the public sector, infrastructure, energy, retail, construction, education and healthcare, among other areas. Global turnover for the year to June is targeted to hit £5 million.

Paul van Loon, head of analytics at Forecast, said: “Forecast is growing a reputation as the premier independent data consultancy for Scottish companies. Decima – our exciting new data engineering service – enables businesses to turbocharge their digital acceleration.”

He added: “Currently, ambitious Scottish businesses or public organisations have limited access to the expert advisors at the vanguard of the data industry – we are changing that, and hope to be that solution in Scotland and further afield.”

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