Tag Archive for: data

What causes advanced analytics and AI initiatives to fail? Some of the main reasons include not having the right compute infrastructure, not having a foundation of trusted data, choosing the wrong solution or technology for the task at hand and lacking staff with the right skill sets. Many organizations deploy minimum valuable products (MVP) but fail to successfully scale them across their business. The solution? Outsourcing elements of analytics and AI strategy in order to ensure success and gain true value.

64% of leaders surveyed said they lacked the in-house capabilities to support data-and-analytics initiatives. 

It’s essential to implement a data-driven culture across your organization if you’re looking to adopt advanced analytics. One of the keys to a data-driven culture is having staff with the correct skills that align with your initiatives. In our study, 64 out of 100 leaders identified a lack of staff with the right skills as a barrier to adopting advanced analytics within their organization. Even for organizations that do have the correct skill sets, retaining that talent is also a barrier they face. This is where outsourcing comes in.

Borrowing the right talent for only as long as you need it can be an efficient path forward.

Outsourcing parts of your analytics journey means you’re going directly to the experts in the field. Instead of spending time and money searching for the right person both technically and culturally, outsourcing allows you to “borrow” that talent. The company you choose to outsource to has already vetted their employees and done the heavy lifting for you. With outsourcing, you can trust that your organization is working with professionals with the skill sets you need.

Aside from securing professionals with the correct skill sets, there are plenty of other benefits to outsourcing your organization’s analytics needs. Professionals with the skill sets necessary for advanced analytics and AI initiatives can be very expensive. Outsourcing provides a cost-effective option to achieve the same goal. Rather than paying the full-time salary and benefits of a data science or analytics professional, an organization can test the value of these kinds of ventures on a project to project basis and then evaluate the need for a long-term investment.

Freeing full-time employees to make the most of their institutional knowledge.

Another benefit of outsourcing analytics is the increased productivity and focus of your organization’s full-time employees. By outsourcing your organization’s analytics, your full-time employees will naturally have more bandwidth to focus on other high priority tasks and initiatives. Rather than spending their time on what the outsourcing company is now working on, the full-time employees can dedicate their time to work on things that may require institutional knowledge or other tasks that are not suited for a third party. It’s a win-win situation for your organization – your analytics needs are being handled and your full-time staff is more focused and still productive.

There are many areas of analytics that an organization can outsource. These areas include but are not limited to viability assessments, prioritization of use cases, managing the ongoing monitoring, performance, maintenance and governance of a solution and implementing and deploying an MVP or use case.  In the words of Brian Platt, Ironside’s Practice Director of Data Science, “A partner with advanced analytics and data science capabilities can rapidly address AI challenges with skills and experience that are hard to develop in-house.”

Mid-tier organizations need the right talent and tools to successfully realize the value of their data and analytics framework in the cloud. The Corinium report shows that many companies are increasingly prepared to work with cloud consulting partners to access the skills and capabilities they require. 

 Areas that mid-market leaders consider outsourcing.

Overall, more and more data leaders are turning to outsourcing to help fill the gaps and expedite their organization’s analytics journey. Outsourcing services can help your organization reach analytics goals in many different areas, not just AI and Advanced Analytics. 

Organizations rely on outsourcing in key areas like these:

  • Developing a data and analytics cloud roadmap
  • Assessing advanced analytics use cases (figure shows 68% would consider outsourcing)
  • Implementation and deployment of a MVP, or use case (figure shows 43% outsource)
  • Developing and maintaining data pipelines
  • Documenting and assessing your BI and overall analytics environment(s)
  • Migrating your reporting environment from one technology to another
  • Overall management and monitoring of analytics or AI platform (figure shows 42% are already outsourcing)

When your company plugs into the right skill sets and processes, there’s nothing between you and a successful data-and-analytics transformation.

Take a look at the full whitepaper to learn more: Data Leadership: Top Cloud Analytics Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

Contact Ironside Group today to accelerate your Advanced Analytics and AI Strategies.

Over the past week, I’ve spoken to a number of customers and partners who are adjusting to the ever-evolving reality of life during COVID-19. Beyond the many ways it has affected their personal lives and families, we’ve also discussed how it has impacted their jobs, and the role of analytics in the success of their organizations.

During these conversations, a few consistent themes have emerged from the people responsible for delivering reporting and analytics to their user communities:

  • Reliability: Continuing to deliver business as usual content despite a suddenly remote workforce
  • Resiliency: Hardening existing systems and processes to ensure continuity and security
  • Efficiency: Delivering maximum value even in the midst of a short-term business downturn
  • Innovation: Finding new ways to leverage data to address emerging challenges in areas such as supply chain, customer service, pricing optimization, marketing, and others.

While none of these topics are new to those of us in analytics, the new reality brought on by COVID-19 has made it even more important for us to succeed in every area. In an excellent Forbes article, Alteryx CEO Dean Stoecker discusses the importance and relevance of analytics professionals in driving success for their organizations in these trying times.

As he correctly concludes,

“If anyone is prepared to tackle the world’s most complex business and societal challenges—in this case, a global pandemic—it is the analytic community.”

We’re all in this together.

At Ironside, we’re taking that challenge to heart and looking at how we, too, can refocus our talents to better help our customers. Our upcoming series, Strategies for Success During Uncertain Times, will cover the steps we’re taking to help our partners weather this storm.

As of today, we’re:

  • Holding on-demand “Coffee Breaks” with some of our most experienced SMEs
  • Increasing remote trainings on key technologies
  • Rolling out short-term hosted platforms to accelerate model development, especially for predictive analytics
  • Expanding our managed-services capabilities for platforms and applications, even for short-term demand
  • Increasing our investment in off-shore capabilities to reduce costs and expand coverage models and other areas, too

Additionally, we are offering more short-term staffing options to our customers. Read Depend on Ironside for your data and analytics bench for short- and long-term success for more about these services.

We’re here to help.

At Ironside, we agree that the analytics community is uniquely-positioned to help our organizations weather the COVID-19 storm, and we’re committed to making our customers and partners as successful as possible.

We look forward to speaking with you about your immediate needs, and continuing the conversation on these and other timely topics.

Contact us today at: Here2Help@IronsideGroup.com

In today’s “Big Data” era, a lot of data, in volume and variety, is being continuously generated across various channels within an enterprise and in the Cloud. To drive exploratory analysis and make accurate predictions, we need to connect, collate, and consume all of this data to make clean, consistent data easily and quickly available to analysts and data scientists.

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Any journey requires a few things before getting started. Wandering through the forest can be a very pleasant experience, but if you don’t plan ahead and bring your compass and map, what happens if you get lost? (I know, you probably brought your smart phone, which has GPS. But then you find there is no signal, way out here in the forest…). Before starting an adventure like this, you need to prepare and make sure you are ready for any obstacles or unknowns that could occur.

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When you think about the different ways that data gets used in your company, what comes to mind?

You surely have some executive dashboards, and some quarterly reports. There might be a reporting portal containing everything that IT created for anyone within the past decade.

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What is the most common, most vital need of any business? Speed.

Speed to adapt, to respond, to evolve. It is important, not just at the big picture level, but on a daily basis as well. If you’re constantly waiting for information, then you’re spending less time analyzing data and making decisions that help the organization. Speed has been vitally important in the acceptance of Mode 2 style content such as Dashboards and Stories. Response time is key when viewing daily high-level metrics or when creating that “single use” asset to analyze a potential issue.

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With the maturing and ever increasing acceptance of the cloud across multiple industries and the data gravity gradually moving to the cloud, i.e. more data being generated in the cloud, we are seeing some interesting cloud-based data and analytics platforms offering unique capabilities. Some of these platforms could be disruptive to the established market leaders with their innovative thinking and ground up design that is “born in the cloud and for the cloud.”

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Data democratization is the ability of an organization to provide information to end users in an easy and effective way. The goal is to provide self-service of information to end users with minimal IT support. There are many things that can go wrong when rolling out data democratization projects. The purpose of this article is to identify potential issues and provide guidance on how to avoid them in the democratization process.

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When asked “What’s your data strategy?” do you reply “We’re getting Hadoop…” or “We just hired a data scientist…” or “If we only had a data lake, all our problems would be solved…”? Plotting a good data strategy requires more than buying a tool, hiring a resource, or adding a component to your architecture. You need something to describe:

  • the goals you are trying to achieve,
  • the stakeholders you are trying to serve, and
  • the internal capabilities required to satisfy those stakeholders and achieve those goals

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Is your company suffering from a case of “Bad Data”? Everyone is following the process and doing their job correctly but you still face issues with accurate reporting, operational errors, audit anxiety about your data, etc. Good data should be a given, right?

Well it’s not that easy. In today’s business environment, rapid growth, organizational change, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are very difficult to absorb within a fragmented data ecosystem. Multiple disparate IT systems, siloed databases, and deficient master data often result in data which is fragmented, duplicated and out of date.
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