Partner Profile


Following the launch of the Inlight Partner Network at the start of the year, we’ve already seen some fantastic opportunities created and conversations had, and as the network grows, we’ll be introducing each of the network’s partners one-by-one.

After Optimising kicked off the series earlier this month, the next of our partner profiles features our other foundation partner in data science & analytics consultancy, WhyHive.

Founded and led by the recently awarded Tess Guthrie (pictured with said award below), describing the WhyHivers as a smart bunch would be an understatement and their passion for data, ability to extract its value and, subsequently unlock business opportunities, is second to none.

That passion for data is matched by their drive for purpose-led, social impact work (more on that below) although far from being a one-trick pony, the team has found a place in the corporate world as well by bringing a start-up mindset to the mix in addressing challenges big and small.

In the wake of her award-winning month, I caught up with Tess to better understand how they turn numbers, facts, and statistics into gold dust.

What does WhyHive do?

WhyHive is a data science social enterprise. We use a mix of data science and innovation consulting to help organisations extract value from data and use data-derived insights to make better decisions and maximise their impact.

One example of this is using customer information e.g. digital engagement (social media, website analytics) or CRM data, to inform marketing/business strategies, build better products or improve service delivery.

Our process of working with clients is really collaborative and generally unique to each client. A big part of the process is talking with clients to identify pain points, goals, or opportunities for growth. We’ll help them discover what they can do with their existing data or how to collect data. We’ll also occasionally bring in specialists to ensure we are offering innovative and effective solutions. Once we’ve come to an understanding of what approach is best and how we can leverage data to achieve their ideal outcomes, we’ll provide a proposal.

One really great thing about data science is that for many companies it's new territory. It’s generally a really fun, exciting process exploring with clients about how they can use their data.

How did WhyHive come to be?

I was working in the for-purpose sector and noticed data was really important to the projects I was supporting, but the organisations often didn’t have the financial resources for a data analyst, developer, or tech specialist. I also observed that the corporate sector often had funding, but lacked the internal expertise to leverage data in new ways to achieve their business goals.

WhyHive was founded in response to these two needs. We offer for-purpose organisations accessible avenues and tools for using data to maximise positive impact and bring corporates creativity and expertise to innovate and effectively use data to meet their goals.

What’s the team passionate about?

The two standout features of our team are that:

  1. Everyone is deeply invested in creating positive social impact
  2. We employ people who have also themselves founded businesses, NFPs, or startups and are heavily immersed in startup thinking

We’re a social enterprise, so it’s important to us that our team is committed to positive social impact. Many of our team have extensive experience in implementing or supporting social change or working in the for-purpose sector. Just as a few examples, our Business Development Manager Matt Cohen runs Bloody Good Bins (see below), a social enterprise focused on fighting period stigma and our CFO Shelin David sits on the Board for the Centre of Multicultural Youth.

Also, one of our data scientists Akshay Sachdeva built a dashboard that can track live COVID-19 cases and hospital resources in the US, forecast cases by state, and implement a risk score at county level. The team’s extensive experience in social impact adds enormous value for corporate and purpose-led clients, as they are seasoned opportunity spotters who approach projects with creativity and nuance.

Are there any recent client projects you’re particularly proud of?

We’re a long-time partner of She’s A Crowd, a data advocacy organisation using geo-spatial data to advocate for policies that make public spaces safer for women. WhyHive is currently working with She’s A Crowd on Safety After Dark, a project led by Transport for New South Wales. The project is focused on using data and technology to make transport safer for women.

The project has been fascinating and extremely rewarding to work on. There are so many complex ethical and technical factors that go into using technology to make public spaces safer and it’s a perfect use of our team’s skillset.

What excites you about joining the Inlight Partner Network?

We’ve always really admired Inlight's dynamism, creative approach to problem-solving and user-centered design. It’s fantastic to be able to bring our data expertise to an organisation already doing such cutting-edge work.

We’re also really excited about joining the Partner Network for the opportunities to connect, share and learn from other innovative companies (shout out to Optimising who have already provided us with excellent SEO advice!).

For the area you operate in, what’s one trend or change you expect to see this year?

I think one of the biggest shifts we’ll see into the future is the application of an ethical lens to the collection, processing, and use of data. It’s always been an important topic of discussion, but I think there’s this increased public awareness and concern about the presence of technology, collection and use of personal data, and state surveillance.

There’s a great Netflix documentary called CODED BIAS, which explores these critical issues at the intersection of ethics and tech. One of the many important issues it touches on is the way facial recognition algorithms struggle to recognise the faces of women and people of colour and the replication of prejudice in technology.

Definitely worth checking out.

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About the author
Tom Webster
Partnerships Lead
Tom Webster | Partnerships Lead

Tom has led business development initiatives across digital, marketing, and creative agencies for over 8 years and leans on this experience to manage the Inlight Partner Network, driving growth and collaboration for its partners, as well as Inlight.