A conversation with the CEO of Cognisess #BDF2019 Headline sponsor

We sat down with Chris Butt, the founder and CEO of Cognisess to have a conversation about their involvement with the festival as well as their insights into the future of Cognisess and Bath!

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Liam Macauley

10th September 2019

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Who are Cognisess?

"I am Chris Butt and I am the CEO and founder of Cognisess and we are people analytics software company and we're very interested in people, helping them better understand who they are, their talent and potential."

 

What’s in store for the future of Cognisess?

"So we have a big future ahead of us at Cognisess. We are really shaping the world of people analytics helping organisations better understand their people their candidates, their employees and their organisation as a whole. And we do that through multiple ways; creating assessments, game-based assessments, a better understanding of the brain and neuroscience, looking at their health and well being an increasingly important part of the whole mix and then looking at things like performance, workforce data. When we pull all of that structured data together we have a much more interesting view of the person and where they sit in the business."

 

Why have you decided to become one of our headline sponsors?

"So we decided to become headline sponsor this year because it marks a transition in our business, we are maturing now we're 25/30 strong. We've taken advantage of all the things that Bath can offer us in terms of; the graduate pool, the university's, the creativity that exists here. And in one sense we are now maturing to want to become a little bit more involved dynamically in the digital space in Bath, I think it's important for companies like ours to put something back, I think that's important for us to become involved in what has become a centrepiece for Bath and showcasing all the good things digital which are happening here. I think this could be positioned for us both on a local and regional but also national, international level we do business around the world and this will help us get that message out to some of our customers, partners and organisations we work with. So we see it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things for us as a brand in 2020."

 

What excited you the most about working in the digital space?

"It’s the enormous variety of solutions we can develop for our customers and for the people that use our platform. With over 100,000 user's to date and multiple organisations a lot of our customers want interesting variations on a digital theme, particularly when it comes to things like; hiring, employee performance, looking at culture and team fit and the organisation dynamics of a business. A lot of those good features come from our customers and R&D team, so there's a great deal of variety and richness that we can develop out through the digital space.""It’s the enormous variety of solutions we can develop for our customers and for the people that use our platform. With over 100,000 user's to date and multiple organisations a lot of our customers want interesting variations on a digital theme, particularly when it comes to things like; hiring, employee performance, looking at culture and team fit and the organisation dynamics of a business. A lot of those good features come from our customers and R&D team, so there's a great deal of variety and richness that we can develop out through the digital space."

 

Why have you based Cognisess in Bath?

"I live here as one of the reasons, but I think importantly there is a brilliant source of potential graduate recruitment, there is a strong creative sense to Bath throughout the city and we are very much is an early-stage business taking advantage of that. In the future we need to look maybe beyond Bath particularly our sales channels, so we have distribution offices set up around the world, but we're very happy consolidating our R&D in the centre of Bath it's a great place to live and work and we can’t see ourselves moving out of the city for a long time.""I live here as one of the reasons, but I think importantly there is a brilliant source of potential graduate recruitment, there is a strong creative sense to Bath throughout the city and we are very much is an early-stage business taking advantage of that. In the future we need to look maybe beyond Bath particularly our sales channels, so we have distribution offices set up around the world, but we're very happy consolidating our R&D in the centre of Bath it's a great place to live and work and we can’t see ourselves moving out of the city for a long time."

 

How does Bath modernise itself in the digital space?

"One of the pressures for us, for growing business, is going to be demand on office space. Having a good office to work in, in an open-plan setting which excites young people particularly to come and work, is an issue for Bath so it has to get that right this balance between good affordable office space for early-stage and start-up companies that's going to be important. Ensuring that universities locally do more to engage with local businesses, I think is crucial, I think they've done a reasonable job and I think that could be improved. We are always at pains to make good relationships with Bath Spa University, Bath University, universities in Bristol, West of England to take time for a smaller business to engage properly, so I think a combination of working with universities and accessing its graduate pools is going to be really important for Bath to stay ahead as already a great start and actually how does it really develop its heritage of being a creative centre. So Bath has been very good at encouraging people in the creative industries whether it's what was future publishing, focusing on magazine production that's obviously gone digital and keeping those sorts of skills close and within Bath is going to be important to how it develops. I think it's about how you politically drive and lead that change going forward and I see some signs that, I think Bristol doing very well in that respect as well and obviously plans by the waterfront are going to be an exciting part of bath development.""One of the pressures for us, for growing business, is going to be demand on office space. Having a good office to work in, in an open-plan setting which excites young people particularly to come and work, is an issue for Bath so it has to get that right this balance between good affordable office space for early-stage and start-up companies that's going to be important. Ensuring that universities locally do more to engage with local businesses, I think is crucial, I think they've done a reasonable job and I think that could be improved. We are always at pains to make good relationships with Bath Spa University, Bath University, universities in Bristol, West of England to take time for a smaller business to engage properly, so I think a combination of working with universities and accessing its graduate pools is going to be really important for Bath to stay ahead as already a great start and actually how does it really develop its heritage of being a creative centre. So Bath has been very good at encouraging people in the creative industries whether it's what was future publishing, focusing on magazine production that's obviously gone digital and keeping those sorts of skills close and within Bath is going to be important to how it develops. I think it's about how you politically drive and lead that change going forward and I see some signs that, I think Bristol doing very well in that respect as well and obviously plans by the waterfront are going to be an exciting part of bath development."

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