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The world has changed dramatically over the course of a single month, and companies are struggling even more with things that have historically challenged them:

  • Finding the best people to run, build and innovate on their analytics tools and data
  • Making these environments accessible to employees in a work-at-home model

In this Forbes article, Louis Columbus cites a recent Dresner survey that shows up to 89% of companies are seeing a hit to their BI and Analytics budgets due to COVID-19. The survey includes these two recommendations:

Recommendation #1

Invest in business intelligence (BI) and analytics as a means of understanding and executing with the change landscape.

Recommendation #2

Consider moving BI and analytical applications to third-party cloud infrastructure to accommodate employees working from home.


89% of companies are seeing a hit to their BI and Analytics budgets due to COVID-19.


We’re here to help you explore your options.

Now that the role of analytics is more important than ever to a company’s success, analytics leaders are again being asked to do much more with much less — all while companies are experiencing staff reductions, navigating the complexities of moving to a work-from-home model, and struggling to onboard permanent hires.

To address these short-term shortages (and potentially longer-term budget impacts), companies are naturally evaluating whether leveraging a managed-service approach — wholly or even just in part— can help them fill their skills gap while also reducing their overall spend.

As they weigh this decision, cost, technical expertise, market uncertainty and the effectiveness of going to a remote-work model are all top-of-mind. Here’s how these factors might affect your plans going forward:

Factor 1: Cost

As the Dresner number showed, most analytics teams need to reduce spend. Doing this mid-year is never easy, and usually comes at the expense of delayed or canceled projects, delayed or cancelled hiring, and possibly even staff reductions. All of these decrease a company’s analytics capabilities, which in turn decreases its ability to make the right business decisions at a critical time. A managed services approach to meeting critical analytics needs, even just to address a short-term skills gap, can provide valuable resources in a highly flexible way, while saving companies significant money over hiring staff and traditional consulting models.

Factor 2: Technical Expertise

A decade ago, your options for analytics tools and platforms were limited to a handful of popular technologies. Today even small departments use many different tools. We have seen organizations utilizing AWS, Azure, and private datacenters. Oracle, SQL Server, Redshift all at the same company? Yes, we have seen that as well. Some of our customers maintain more than five BI tools. At some point you have to ask: Can we hire and support the expertise necessary to run all these tools effectively? Can we find and hire a jack-of-all trades?

In a managed services model, companies can leverage true experts across a wide range of technology while varying the extent to which they use those resources at any particular time. As a result, companies get the benefit of a pool of resources in a way that a traditional hiring approach simply cannot practically provide.

Factor 3: Effectiveness of Remote Work Engagement

If you weren’t working remotely before, you probably are now. Companies are working to rapidly improve their processes and technologies to adjust to a new normal while maintaining productivity.

Managed service resourcing models have been delivering value remotely for years, using tools and processes that ensure productivity. Current events have not affected these models, therefore making them an ideal solution for companies  trying to figure out the best way to work at home.

Times are changing. We’re ready!

Ironside has traditionally offered Managed Services, to care for and maintain customer platforms and applications, and consulting services, to assist in BI and Analytics development.

Companies can leverage our Analytics Assurance Services temporarily, for a longer period of time to address specific skills gaps, or to establish a cloud environment to support remote analytic processes.

With Ironside, you can improve your data analytics within your new constraints, while reducing your costs. We’d love to show you how.

Contact us today at: Here2Help@IronsideGroup.com

On February 11th, Ironside hosted a webinar on Association Rules for Data Mining: Beyond Market Basket Analysis. Pamela Askar, Data Scientist at Ironside, presented on how to conduct association rules for data mining using SPSS Modeler. Read more

IBM SPSS Modeler 17 and Statistics 23 were officially released at the beginning of March 2015. There are several important changes in licensing structure and system infrastructure, as well as many innovative new functionality enhancements. This article will briefly introduce the enhancements added to Modeler 17 from a practical perspective. Something worth noting as you begin exploring this most recent round of upgrades is that Analytics Server will be heavily leveraged in a lot of these new features. Read more

On June 17th, Ironside hosted a Customer Analytics for the Informed Executive webinar exploring how advanced analytics can help businesses attract and retain customers. This webinar reviews a variety of data science methods that can utilize extensive existing data to provide guidance on many functional areas within a company. Read more

Use the SPSS Modeler Text Analytics Add-On to Monitor Social Media

As channels of social media penetrate people’s daily life more extensively and intensively, bad reviews and negative opinions travel faster than ever before. Research and surveys have shown that people are far more likely to spread the word about bad experience than a favorable one . Social media, by providing numerous opportunities for word-spreading, escalates this process. It is in the best interest of businesses to monitor comments on social media in real time. Read more

Ironside is proud to announce the launch of its innovation center with a number of exciting new packaged Ironside solutions built on the IBM Business Analytics and Information Management portfolio. These solutions are designed to accelerate and multiply client return on investment and address specific functional and industry business problems. Be sure to contact us or stop by our booth at IBM Information on Demand next week to speak to our industry and functional solution experts in person. Read more

In September, Ironside public training classes will start being offered near Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C. as part of the firm’s expansion into the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

The move expands the reach of an IBM Cognos, SPSS and TM1 training practice that has earned rave reviews from customers at private classes across the country and at public training classes in cities such as Boston, Detroit, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale.

Ironside public training in IBM Cognos has been available since the firm’s founding in 1999 in Massachusetts. We recently began offering SPSS and TM1 classes as well.

The expansion of Ironside public training offerings comes at a time when IBM is getting out of the training business and leaving the job of increasing adoption of IBM business analytics software to its top business partners.

Ironside is a full-service IBM Premier Business partner, offering software resale, training, and consulting across the full suite of IBM business analytics products, including SPSS, Cognos BI, and TM1.

The Mid-Atlantic training expansion begins with a September 9 IBM Cognos Active Report Class in King of Prussia, PA. Ironside will offer IBM Cognos Workspace and Workspace Advanced (2 days) and IBM Cognos Multidimensional Report Authoring (2 days) classes later in that same week.

During the week of September 23, Ironside is offering an IBM Cognos Report Studio Fundamentals (3 days) and/or Advanced (2 days) training class in Washington, D.C.

The week of September 30 features an IBM Cognos Framework Manager Fundamentals and/or advanced class in King of Prussia.

Additional classes have been scheduled through November. Visit the Ironside public training schedule for the full listing of all public classes in Washington, D.C., King of Prussia, and other cities in the eastern U.S.

At Ironside, we write our own full color training manuals. The curriculum is continually informed by the experiences of our 70 plus consultants and taught by our best in breed instructors, who all have experience as former IBM instructors.

For information about Ironside IBM Cognos, SPSS, or TM1 offerings, to request a particular class be held, or for pricing on private classes – contact Steven Kreytak at 781 860 -8840 x284 or at skreytak@ironsidegroup.com.

In mid-June, Ironside successfully launched the first course in our line of IBM SPSS course offerings: IBM SPSS Modeler Fundamentals. This launch is a key moment that marks the beginning of a new educational journey for the Ironside training division. The new course set us off on a running start, and we intend to keep the momentum going in the coming months.

We are happy to announce that two more SPSS course offerings, IBM SPSS Modeler Advanced and Introduction to IBM SPSS Statistics, are currently in development and will be launching at the end of this summer. These courses build upon the foundation of our first SPSS course and also branch out our practice to cover more SPSS product lines.

IBM SPSS Modeler Advanced gives you the opportunity to experience the finer subtleties of Modeler’s data preparation functionality. The course explores the many options Modeler gives you for bringing in data from different sources and turning that data into a powerful asset that will generate the most robust predictive models possible. The Ironside instructors teaching this course have many years of professional experience to draw upon, allowing them to give practical, applicable examples of how Modeler can help you define, clean, and restructure your data. This course will give you all the tools and knowledge necessary to manage your data effectively and get the kind of meaningful results that will drive your organization forward.

Introduction to IBM SPSS Statistics gives you access to another powerful product in the SPSS suite. In this course, you will get a comprehensive overview of the capabilities of Statistics and learn to control them to produce actionable results. Under the practiced guidance of our instructors, you will navigate the Statistics program, bring in and explore data files, consolidate data, and work closely with variables to understand the flow of activities within Statistics and find that analysis methods that best address your business questions.

The first SPSS Modeler Advanced course will run from August 14th to August 15th in Lexington, MA and the first Introduction to Statistics course will run from September 9th to September 10th, also  in Lexington, MA.  Additionally, we will be offering the Introduction to Data Mining and SPSS Modeler course again from September 11th to September 12th at the Lexington training site.

We are incredibly excited to be bringing you these new SPSS course offerings, and hope to see you at one of the upcoming training sessions!

 

Thomas Friedman’s book “The World Is Flat” describes how outsourcing, technology, and other factors helped level the business playing field around the globe. What if traditional barriers to entry for using big data and business analytics were removed? Would small to mid-sized businesses be able to compete more effectively with larger organizations? IBM has made it possible to answer these questions and many more for its customers who leverage IBM Analytic Answers. Read more

There has been a lot of less-than-positive press in headlines recently about the Higher Education market as a whole. In fact, these types of articles seem increasingly easy to find these days. Please feel free to follow the links provided below to view a few articles that illustrate this point. Read more

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