North East tech firm Visualsoft has appointed data scientist Kalvin Tan as part of its Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Teesside University.

The eCommerce and digital marketing agency applied for the KTP, which connects businesses with the UK’s academic resources, earlier this year.

The objective of the partnership is to assist with the construction of the ‘VS Analytics’ system, which will collate and interpret Big Data from the Visualsoft platform and glean valuable insights into the eCommerce market for both the company and its clients.

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Following a rigorous recruitment process, Tan was selected to undertake the project.

He will be based at Visualsoft’s newly-expanded Stockton HQ on Teesside and joins the company with an impressive academic record – including an MSc in Computer Science, a BA in Applied Computing and a PhD in Computer Science Research.

He has held a number of senior research and analytical positions at Northumbria University, working on large-scale projects for Northumbria Police and the university itself.

Tan will be supported by Visualsoft’s specialist platform team and dedicated sponsors at Teesside University.

“Visualsoft's eCommerce platform powers over 1,200 online stores, and over the last year alone, it's processed over 11.5 million orders,” said Sarah Louise Taylor, head of platform at Visualsoft.

“As such, it offers an incredible amount of insight into customer behaviour, and by working closely with Kalvin and Teesside University, we're looking to capture, interpret and act on that information to really boost conversion rates for our clients.”

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Established in 1998, Visualsoft counts a team of over 300 staff across three offices, all of whom specialise in the design, build, support and marketing of online stores for retailers. Currently, the company works with over 1,200 UK clients, from Charles Clinkard, Little Mistress and The Lakes Distillery.

“Working with one of the largest eCommerce companies in the UK unlocks a wider range of opportunities for machine learning,” said Tan.

“Utilising data captured by Visualsoft and embedding it with modern digital technology and artificial intelligence provides marketing insights that could potentially provide improvements for e-retailers in areas such as design, stock control, sales prediction and user experience.”

Dr Yingke Chen, reader (Computer Science) at Teesside University, said: “I am thrilled to be working on such an exciting project in collaboration with Visualsoft.

“The resulting Intelligent Data Analysis platform will enable Visualsoft to offer their clients personalised insights to drive more sales within their eCommerce sites, but also enables us to deliver real world impact for our research around intelligent systems.”