Developed in conjunction with

Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Vizi – Visual Customer Intelligence – Bringing your Data to Life

The Irish SME, Twelve Horses, provide integrated online marketing services to a global base of clients in industries ranging from financial services to destination marketing and online retail. Since 2000, the company has worked with many of the world’s largest brands to create consistently excellent web and online communication programmes.

Twelve Horses wished to develop a web-based business application which would solve a number of problems experienced by business users when using existing reporting and business intelligence tools. The company did not have the in-house expertise to develop this technology and embarked on a collaborative project between the NDRC (National Digital Research Centre Ltd), the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) Dún Laoghaire and University College Dublin (UCD).

Hilary Kenna, a lecturer in Design and Digital Media at IADT, was the principal researcher from IADT on the project. Her expertise in visualisation, graphic design principles and usability was a direct fit for the requirements of the software development process in this project.

The project involved the research, development, commercialisation and successful market launch of an online data visualisation platform. Hilary Kenna engaged with Twelve Horses and their customers to determine key user profiles, ascertain requirements and prototype user interface designs and visualization applications. The collaboration between Twelve Horses, IADT, NDRC and UCD resulted in Vizi. This is a web based business application that uses the latest research in data visualisation, web design and usability to enable business users to interrogate large multi-dimensional datasets in real time in a visual web based user interface. Vizi is currently being commercialised via Twelve Horses.

This partnership has resulted in a long-term sustainable relationship between Twelve Horses and IADT. In November 2010, the Vizi collaboration was shortlisted for and successfully awarded the Irish Software Association Award for Best Industry Collaboration with an Academic Institution. In addition, Twelve Horses has hired two IADT graduates from Visual Communication Design, and Multimedia Programming in the last year.


“The Vizi project has enabled Twelve Horses, to utilise internationally recognised R&D practices in data visualization, software design and usability to build a new product that solves an identified business need. These skill sets would not have been available to us outside the scope of the project. This kind of collaborative project is a great way for an SME  to undertake innovative translational research in conjunction with academic institutions. We have no hesitation in recommending academic collaboration as a gateway to innovation to the SME sector.”
Gabrielle Stafford - Managing Director, Twelve Horses Ltd.

Vizi was part of NDRC’s Catalyser Programme, which enables collaborations between NDRC, academic partners and industry experts in order to translate research outputs into defined product offerings in identifiable markets. The success of the Vizi project highlights the benefits of the collaborative translational research approach.”
Majella Murphy - Commercial Development Leader, NDRC

From IADT’s perspective, the Vizi project has presented a unique opportunity to gain experience in collaborative research projects with a commercialisation focus. The Vizi project has provided invaluable PR and dissemination opportunities to market IADT as a potential partner for industry/academic collaborative projects to other commercial companies and funding agencies.”
Hilary Kenna - Principal Investigator, Vizi Project, IADT

Client: Twelve Horses
Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Industry: ICT
National Priority Area: Digital Platforms, Content and Applications

Innovation and Commercialisation Manager      Mr. Dominic Mullan

Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire
Co. Dublin, Ireland
T: +353 (0)1 2394625

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lecturer in Design and Digital Media
Hilary Kenna
Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire
Co. Dublin, Ireland
T: +353 (0)1 239 4676
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.