Questions you need to ask yourself before narrowing down on the Big Data analytics company of your choice
You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data. — Daniel Keys Moran
This is normally the scenario at most organizations- you have all the data you need, but do you have the right partner to help you get information from that data? Fraud detection, risk assessment, creating a wonderful product offering, or algorithmic trading; if you are stuck at deciding the right partner for any of the above-listed use cases, you have arrived at the most appropriate blog. Read this through and download the resources mentioned here, and you should be ready to solve your dilemma of choosing the right Big Data analytics company.
The Big Data analytics industry has matured to a point where many organizations have started recycling their pre-developed products for new clients. With the emergence of buzzwords like Big Data, AI, and Data Science, we are sure that many companies have pitched you their offerings with a new fancy worded wrapper. While there is no harm in using them, just remember to get the product tailored to your unique requirements. Owing to these customized requirements, the product you offer must undergo a usability test. We would not be exploring that here, but we would be discussing the principles on which the organization that developed the product functions and how these principles can help you choose a partner for the long journey.
Before we move on to exploring each question in detail, here is a checklist you can download of all these questions that can serve you as a marking sheet whenever you get on a call with any big data analytics solution provider.
1. Are they an organization you can trust your data with? Are they capable of implementing their offerings?
Before you place your trust in an organization, you need to understand what needs to be examined- the first thing would be to find out if the vendor is capable of undertaking your project. Here are a few steps you could take- go to clutch.co and read their reviews. Most big companies have their presence on Clutch. You could also try other portals such as Good Firms, G2, GetApp, TrustRadius, and other such software directories. Go to the elaborated reviews section and try to find answers to these questions:
Do they accomplish their undertakings and see a project through to its end? Or in other terms, what is their software completion ratio? Read both positive and negative reviews in detail, find the frequency of terms such as “complete project”, “missed parts”, “Overbudget” “Overdeadline”, “Scope of involvement”, etc. These terms denote the firm’s commitment to finish the project within the given budget and timeframe. Check the context of such terms.
Check their endorsements on LinkedIn. If the directory provides, search for the names of the organization's employees. If available, look at their experience and ask for reviews from mutual contacts.
Test them on how much they respect the non-disclosure agreement. Try inquiring about project details or the juice they had created for their clients. Pursue them to show their solutions at work. Generally, organizations show their software working using sample data, not their clients’ actual data. If they show you someone’s data, they could also show your data to someone.
2. How committed are they to solve your problem? What knowledge do they possess to solve your problem?
If this were a questionnaire, the first question would be, would you trust this service provider as a client? The second question would be to test the provider’s commitment to solving the problem. Providing a repackaged solution is fine, but you have to check if the solution fits your requirements. Consider asking the following questions:
a. Can they produce a trial version?
b. Can they provide insights on a given set of sample data? If yes, are the results relevant?
c. What kind of architecture are they suggesting? Who has spent the least on infrastructural requirements among all the service providers you have interacted with?
d. Are they capable of providing real-time solutions?
e. What is their general SLA within which they address any flaws found on a live system?
f. Do they have enough team members who understand the technology you want them to work on? Ask for the credentials of members who would be working on your project.
g. Is maintenance included?
h. What are the other projects they have completed on the technological suite they are suggesting?
i. If they are suggesting an on-premise solution, are they willing to explain the pros and cons of hosting a solution on the cloud and vice versa?
j. Have they solved your industry-specific problem in the past?
3. How willing are they to share their knowledge with you? Or how willing are they to help you upgrade your currently redundant solution?
Service providers are the first to know when a particular technology gets an upgrade. These upgrades might significantly reduce the cost of maintenance of your project, or they may improve the process of your solutions. Overall, there is a high possibility that these upgrades might benefit you. Think about questions like “Is your service provider willing to help you upgrade in the future? Is the service provider willing to explain the cost against benefit matrix of the upgrade?” Divide the questions into 2 parts:
Is the service provider aware of the new upgrades, or is he tracking such trends? Ask questions like “Do you think this technology will stay relevant even 5 years down the line? If not, what would be the alternatives, and what are the possible alternatives the world is working on?” These questions help you identify the service provider’s current state of information and his inclination towards gathering new information.
Of course, post this, we highly recommend a product test on its many features, such as ease-of-use, uptime, architectural appropriateness, and the others you wish to analyze the product. But as of now, this checklist can serve as a marking system for your initial calls with the organization. Make sure you download it and let us know how you feel about it. You can also read our next blog on what you should look for in a big data solution of your choice.
To get the best data engineering solutions for your business, reach out to us at Clairvoyant.