Digital balm soothes data headaches

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 12:38 17/03/2014

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The men behind Wellington-based start-up Eight-Wire could be considered the doctors of data.

The online company has developed software called Conductor that makes it easy to transfer data between folders, databases, spreadsheets, and the cloud.

It eliminates the need for a business to employ an experienced data intelligence expert to undertake the lengthy process of designing how a transfer system would work, and buying the necessary hardware.

Even when that process was completed, traditional dataflow systems tend to crash if irregularities, such as incorrectly entered information, are present. The remedy often requires manual correction.

Enter 10-year business intelligence veterans Nigel Thomas and Jason Gleason who last year quit fulltime jobs to provide a digital balm to the data transfer headache through Eight-Wire.

Essentially, Conductor works through software installed at each end of the data pipeline. Turn it on and the data will flow.

Alaska-born Gleason said most traditional data systems date back to the 1990s. They have been layered with extra features or dressed up to look nice, but the base product has essentially not changed.

'The way the market is run now, it's all done by IT vendors. They build tools for developers. We wanted to build a tool for business."

He said Conductor corrected errors, such as when a US-style date was entered when a New Zealand-style date was required.

"It will automatically fix that while other systems would just crash. That is our key difference. We are not like the others who assume everything is perfect. We all know it isn't."

Simplification is also key.

As a basic example, Gleason said, if you wanted to send an automatic payment to someone you would just type in the bank account number and the amount.

"We want to make it that easy, so you only do what you have to do and this magical process behind the scenes handles all the complex work."

Gleason paid tribute to small business incubator Creative HQ, which he said had provided fantastic support as Eight-Wire goes through its establishment phase.

Paint company Resene is Eight- Wire's first customer but more are in the wings.

Gleason said earlier this month it had teamed up with technology solutions company Walker Scott, founded in Wellington and Sydney in 2009.

That pairing was already opening doors across the Tasman with companies showing strong interest in Conductor.

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When it comes to international exposure, Eight-Wire is including a little bit of Kiwi culture in its name.

"We thought of lots of horrible company names but with Eight- Wire we are taking that No 8 wire mentality of pragmatism - to fix something because it's broken and it needs to work."

They are words that indicate this transplanted Alaskan is now a true blue Kiwi.

- The Dominion Post

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