Edinburgh data consultancy Forecast predicts growth boost from latest hires

A burgeoning global data consultancy business has announced two senior hires that it says will expand its technology and transformation offering, and mark a major step in its ambitious growth trajectory as it rapidly scales to meet demand.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:32 pm
Neil Macdonald, founder of Forecast, says both new hires bring a 'wealth of skills and experience'. Picture: contributed.

Edinburgh-based Forecast specialises in financial modelling, data analytics and data visualisation services – serving the likes of blue-chip companies and small and medium-sized enterprises in sectors such as media and telecoms, financial services, public sector, infrastructure, energy, retail, construction, education, and healthcare.

Chris Wilson has joined as a non-executive director, and Euan Cranston has taken charge of its technology activity.

Mr Wilson joins Forecast following a 14-year career in strategic leadership and engagement for global corporations including Royal Bank of Scotland as MD at RBS Retail Bank, Ulster Bank, and Direct Line Group. Forecast says his executive experience will be “intrinsic in supporting growth and transformation” at the firm.

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Mr Cranston joins Forecast following two decades in technical leadership roles for major global firms including Starwood Hotels and Xerox Global Services. “His skills and expertise will give Forecast’s clients a competitive advantage through the effective use of cloud, data and software,” the Edinburgh-based tech business said.

Neil Macdonald, who founded Forecast in 2010, said: “Both Chris and Euan bring a wealth of skills and experience to Forecast. I have no doubt they will make a huge impact on the company as we scale to meet demand at this exciting time in our growth.

“Having Chris join as a non-executive director is a huge get for Forecast. Chris’ commercial pedigree and network within the Scottish business community is second to none, and he will support Forecast’s management team as we deliver sustainable growth whilst remaining true to our values.

“Euan as chief technology officer embodies a serious move into the technology space for Forecast. Euan will be critical to our growth agenda and will help define and grow Forecast’s technology and transformation offering. The great thing about Euan is the range of commercial experience he has – which is perfect for supporting a business that puts making data-driven commercial decisions at the heart of its purpose.”

Forecast, which has also opened offices in Australia and Canada, has doubled both headcount and turnover in three consecutive financial years with plans to grow by a further ten analysts by this coming July.

The business said in January that it was to embark on a new year hiring spree, adding that it had seen demand for its services take off despite the challenging economic backdrop, with responses to the Covid-19 pandemic having accelerated digital transformation as more companies race to become data driven and internet-first operations.

Paul van Loon, head of analytics at Forecast, said at the time: “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.

“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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