26.6. 2013 Kuukauden kasvo

Kalle Heinonen processes data for executives

Already as a child Kalle Heinonen from Turku wanted a job with a daily international aspect. After completing his military service, he had to choose between the Finnish rapid deployment forces and studies in the university of applied sciences which included a year in London. Kalle chose the latter and ended up in the world of Big Data.

Kalle Heinonen was born in Turku on 2 September 1978. At the time, the Heinonen family lived in the Runosmäki district in Turku, and Kalle had two brothers. When Kalle was 10 years old, the family moved to Lieto. He continued to play football which he had started at the age of 5, and the more rural environment encouraged him to try orienteering and track and field sports, as well as floorball which later turned into an important hobby. Kalle was thinking of the studies of a physiotherapist and child instructor, but internationality began to interest him as well. One alternative was work as an interpreter.

“Finally I ended up studying in the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Rauma. I was close to entering a military career in international operations, but I chose the university of applied sciences which gave me a chance to study for a year in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College in London”, Kalle Heinonen says.

Entrepreneur’s career started in Turku Science Park’s incubator

Eventually Kalle interrupted his studies in Rauma and founded Aboavista together with Steve Jackson in 2003, focusing on analysing the data collected from online businesses and thereby developing its clients’ business operations. The company started in Turku Science Park’s DIO Business Incubator.

Olli Mankonen and Juha Achrén provided very good consultation at the time. They have wisdom accrued through experience which I have later come to appreciate even more.”

In spring 2006, Satama Interactive acquired Aboavista. Kalle transferred to the service of the new owner as a senior consultant. Turnover increased and Kalle was elected in two years on the list of influential IT people by Tietoviikko magazine.

“I’m a salesman and consultant by nature, so I also want some recognition for the work I’ve done. That’s why getting on that list was important to me.”

Alongside his work, Kalle has actively contributed to starting the activities of the Digital Analytics Association in Finland. Originally known as the Web Analytics Association, the association aims at promoting the expertise in web analytics and the recognition of the branch.

“We started out with small events for 20–30 people. The number of participants rose quickly and at best the events attracted 150–200 people.”

In autumn 2008, Kalle moved from Satama Interactive to Omniture, currently Adobe. Alongside working he finally graduated as a Bachelor of Business Administration and started studies in the Master’s Degree Programme in Electronic and Mobile Commerce at the Åbo Akademi University. Working as the Strategic Account Executive at Adobe meant a lot of travelling and working in the international environment he had wished in his youth.

“We did a lot of work and supplied Adobe’s solutions for monitoring the efficiency of marketing and sales. My international contact network expanded hugely and is now bigger than my Finnish network. I might get up at 5 in the morning to talk to the Chinese and close the day in a meeting with the Americans”, Kalle says.

“The beginning of 2012 marked 10 years in the analytics business for me. There were children in our family and I began to think about where the branch had progressed and where it would be within 2–3 years from now. I decided to take a timeout and wrote two books last year, one on sales and another on analytics. I also renovated our detached house.”

Kalle even had time to hold an art exhibition last year. His photographs of coffee cups were displayed in Rosten’s Deli-Café on Hämeenkatu street in February. Each cup is photographed from above and shows a silhouette reflected on the surface of the coffee. Arranged by Galleria Maaret Finnberg, the exhibition was well received, as all the photographs printed on canvas had been sold by the time the exhibition finished.

”Mona Lisa’s cry” was one of the works in the photograph exhibition held by Kalle Heinonen in February. The works can also be viewed at www.kaffetto.com.

Big Data is the buzzword

When Aboavista was founded, the concept of data was not the same as it is now. Big Data has become one of the hottest topics in the business world. The term refers to the volume of unorganised digital data that increases at an accelerating speed.

“My brother aptly defined Big Data as the best possible data available. The first level is own data, such as personnel resources, customer data and product information. The second level comprises of such open data that is available to everyone. The other data levels are bought data which can be accessed with money, restricted data, such as data related to health records and national defence, and as the fifth level, undiscovered data.”

Kalle says that all data is useless if one does not learn from it or use it. Data lying in a server is like a wad of money hidden under the mattress which will not accrue interest. Big Analytics means using Big Data. For ordinary consumers, the most familiar application of Big Analytics is the data collected by the loyal customer systems of retailers, which the chains aim to use when allocating their marketing to the right target group. Kalle says that there are already shops in the world that identify a loyal customer who steps into a shop and then send to the salesperson’s tablet computer the customer’s purchasing history and suitable products that the salesperson should offer to the customer.

Kalle refers to 2012 as his creative year. It ended last spring when he returned to business, to analytics and Big Data. As the CEO of the new Turku-based company Superanalytics he aims at personalisation and easy usability of business data e.g. on a smartphone. Kalle says that a company that uses data or its management do not need a 500-page bundle of statistics and analyses which they never have the time to look into. Hence the reports should be made clear, as visual as possible, and all data must be available in real time, for example, on a smartphone or tablet.

“It’s our task to personalise the best possible and usable data from all data available to the customer.”

Operations map is a tool for anticipating management

Management by information is another current topic. Things need to be reacted on before they happen, and hence an operations map should be prepared in advance with key figures that tell how the business is going right now.

“We have implemented a software application that helps to allocate the key figures displayed in the operations map to their owners and players. The software ensures that the owners are informed about alarming key figures and that the players will fix the key figures according to tasks agreed on in advance.”

“We operate in a sector in which we personalise and visualise data and help companies to develop into anticipating organisations”, Kalle sums up the core mission of Superanalytics.

Kalle still spends much of his free time playing floorball. Renovation of the house and the family also require their share of his time. Kalle and his co-habitation partner Marianne have two kids: 4-year-old Walle and 1.5-year-old Stella.

“I’ve flown quite a few miles around the world. Now I want to focus on networking with the local players and aim at collaborating with companies based in Southwest Finland in particular to export our top expertise to the world.”

Kalle Heinonen

♦ Born in Turku in 1978.

♦ Matriculation examination, Liedon lukio 1997.

♦ Bachelor of Business Administration, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences 2010.

♦ M.Sc. in Electronic and Mobile Commerce, Åbo Akademi University 2012.

♦ Founded Aboavista in 2003 together with Steve Jackson. The company was sold to Satama Interactive in 2006.

♦ Strategic Account Executive at Adobe 2009–2012

♦ CEO of Superanalytics Ltd in Turku as of 2013

There was opportunely some "Super" for Kalle.