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About Kaiasm

Kaiasm is a data science company based in the Somerset countryside near Frome. We are a technology innovator that solves problems where data and its use are proving troublesome.

We are particularly interested in making a difference to the UK government’s integration of systems and data - specifically in the infrastructure sector, where integration can be particularly challenging.

We care deeply about what we do and how it affects our clients, our clients' customers, as well as our people, their families, and society in general.”

Liam McGee, Founder & Chief Scientist, Kaiasm

Our offices and gardens are in Whatley, just outside Frome - one of the UK’s best (and most stylish!) places to live. The area attracts people from all over the world, so we recruit as many as possible from it; along with friendly local suppliers and producers.

We have an office dog (Juno) and we all stop for coffee at 11, and eat lunch together at 1. We offer family-friendly, flexible working patterns, walks at lunchtime, thinking breaks (sometimes via knitting, board games, collaborative cryptic crosswords). And we share a healthy obsession with words, meanings and symbols.

Steve Johnston and Liam McGee combined forces to found Kaiasm in 2010.

Our values

How we behave and how we get things done are really important to us at Kaiasm. We are:

  • Humane

    We focus on how technology serves people - ours, yours and the world’s.

  • Caring

    We care deeply about how what we do affects our clients, our clients’ customers, our people, their families, and society as a whole.

  • Transformative

    We can see how the world could be and we want to help get it there - and we do all we can to get our clients there.

  • Revelatory

    We make the complex visible, knowable and actionable. Ta-daa!

  • Valuable

    We create real value for our clients, their customers, our people and our partners through the work we do.

We use these values to guide our decisions. For example, we consider: which of two paths presented is the most humane? Which demonstrates that we care? Which choice is more transformative, more revelatory, more valuable?

Our mission

We navigate the chaos of data - finding order and connection - to develop common models that bring clarity and direction to big data challenges.

Why we do it

We are on a mission to make data fit for human use. We want to change how both government and the economy works - to align businesses and public sector organisations more closely to the information needs of society, to the benefit of all.

We think we can see how the world could be. We want to help get it there. So we are doing all we can to remove any obstacles along the way. We make the complex visible, knowable and actionable. We create true value for our clients, their customers, our people and our partners.

Let’s show government and their agencies data value as societal value, and give them the integrated knowledge they are asking for to meet net zero. Let’s build the data foundations for critical national infrastructure, helping ensure that the search-powered, AI-assisted, machine-learning-accelerated world we are building is focused solidly on sustainable human flourishing.


Kaiasm. Pronounced Kai (as in kayak), -asm (as in enthusi-asm).

It stems in part from the Japanese Kaizen (Kai = change, Zen = good. Together meaning the accumulation of small continuous improvements), the Greek Kairos (the perfect moment to act). It is also a convenient misspelling of the classical concept of Chiasm, a reversal of thought pattern to get at a change in paradigm.

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country is a chiasm.

One of our favourites is: Stop dating integrators and start integrating data.

Some of the team

Steve Johnston

Steve Johnston, Director of Client Services

Steve is your go-to specialist in understanding information demand and enhancing data structures to meet it.

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Steve was an early ecommerce ambassador who accelerated Expedia to some of their early search successes, before going on to rewrite’s approach to technology and online search. He and the Kaiasm team were behind Screwfix’s massive growth and domination of the DIY sector online.

As a bookselling entrepreneur from the analogue past - where Steve saw first-hand both the sudden economic shift represented by Amazon and the existential threat to the traditional book that is electronic publishing - Steve is Kaiasm’s retail specialist. He recognised how Google would change society almost as soon as it started, and so established one of the world’s first Google consultancies.

Along with Liam McGee, Steve is co-author of a top-selling search engine book '50 ways to make Google Love your Website', published by Penguin Random House in 2010.

He has a BSc in Psychology from Manchester Met.

Meet Steve:

Liam McGee

Liam McGee, Chief Scientist

Liam is the inventor of Kaiasm's unique system of weighting complex categorisations with big-data in order to produce optimal taxonomies for large-scale information architectures (phew).

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His expertise covers ontology, conceptual data modelling, data visualisation, cartography and GIS, cognitive science, econometrics, knowledge management and web performance. His work has informed public services digital offerings, from the NHS website's information architecture, to the BBC's demand intelligence.

His expertise in product and category taxonomy has also been exploited across retail environments, with dramatically positive results: household names such as Screwfix and Homebase have been clients.

In his early career he designed and built websites for a number of national charities, designed and ran massive multiplayer share trading games, worked on web standards development (an invited Expert to the W3C in accessibility).

He has an MA and MSci in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

Meet Liam:

James Harvey

James Harvey, Chief Technology Officer

James is a superb computer scientist and software engineer with a deep understanding of code performance and design, as well as rapid development, testing and deployment.

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James and Liam met on the Computer Science course at Gonville & Caius College in Cambridge in 1995. He started working with Steve and Liam in 2012 and officially joined the team in 2014. Before Kaiasm he was lead engineer at cryptography specialists nCipher and then Principal Architect at Thales e-security. When he isn’t creating groundbreaking engineering he is usually to be found making music somewhere in Cambridge.

James has an MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Meet James:

Miranda Sharp

Miranda Sharp, Partnerships

Miranda is an advocate for the power of data and its exploitation based on experience with the National Digital Twin programme, Ordnance Survey and Royal Mail’s postal address files (PAF).

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Her interest is in the new business models that will be required when data is used as a business asset to make better decisions. In addition to her work for Kaiasm, she serves as a non-executive director to TRL (the Transport Research Laboratory), trustee to the Centre for Cities and member of advisory panels at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Mayor of London (Infrastructure).

Previously at the National Digital Twin programme, Ordnance Survey and Royal Mail, she has worked in value creation from data for over 10 years.

Meet Miranda:

Accreditations and awards

As an innovative research and development company, we have been on the receiving end of multiple innovation grants. We are currently developing the world’s first SaaS tool to model existing data structures into something that is AI-ready, understandable and navigable by both technical and business users.

Kaiasm wins The Queen’s Award for Enterprise - Innovation

In 2020, we were the proud recipients of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise - in the innovation category. The award recognises and encourages outstanding achievement in the fields of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity. One of only eight awarded in the Southwest in 2020, the award for innovation recognises Kaiasm’s pioneering approach to data technology.

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Kaiasm awarded £350,000 from Innovate UK Smart Grant

In 2022, Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, awarded Kaiasm a £350,000 Smart Grant of government funding. The grant has helped fund Kaiasm’s £500k project to develop a Software-as-a-Service tool designed to help transform complex data into AI-ready, interoperable frameworks.

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