In reviewing the entrants for our FAST 3 AWARDS (winners announced here yesterday) I am thrilled at the success of our clients. There are some standouts – newsagents aggressively using our software tools to understand their businesses and address challenges. For example, one user dug deep into sales data and saw that a department which looked to be strong was decaying in several categories. Three months on they had arrested the situation.

It’s a challenge getting small business owners like newsagents to use their Point of Sale systems as more than cash registers. Our FAST 3 AWARDS are part of that process as are what we label intervention calls – phone calls and visits where we work with our users to dig into their businesses in search of potential problems.

The most successful newsagents I am seeing are those who use their technology aggressively to unlock the truth about their business. They seek out bad news and relish the challenge of fixing it. Getting in a conversation with these folk is inspiring – they have numbers at their fingertips and these are backed with answers.

It’s the most pleasure a software developer can get, in the office, hearing a user excited about good data and what it means for their business.