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Fast Track Data With External Support

Fast Track Data With External Support

Is data on your to-do list in 2023? If not, you run the serious risk of falling behind your competitors. The data landscape has changed massively in the last decade. 

In 2008 only 3/10 most valuable companies were actively taking a data-driven approach. The same number in 2018 was 7/10 and today is 10/10. (Milford)  Data has quickly gone from being a secret ingredient to competitive advantage, to a vital cog in the growth engine. Open source and more accessible data tools have meant that data is no longer just powering the most successful companies with 80% of all global companies investing in data in 2022. (World data science initiative)

It is perhaps then, no surprise that demand for Data Engineers has outstripped supply since 2016, with a survey by Indeed finding 90% of business owners are struggling to find and hire data professionals. So how should businesses with pressing data needs look to fill this gap? Here’s 3 reasons why you should consider external support.

Building? Get It Right First Time.

If you want to get started with analytics from scratch there are a lot of critical elements including: tool selection, data extraction, modelling, warehouse set-up and visualisation. Not to mention ensuring that engineering best practices are established. This initial setup period requires a number of different skills including architecture design, engineering and analysis. By outsourcing to an agency, you can leverage all of these different skill sets without having to hire. You’ll lower your technical debt later on by integrating scalable tools and setting them up the right way. And you’ll do all of the above in a much more efficient timescale.

You’re Too Busy Firefighting

This is a very common scenario 173tech encounter. Often companies have a fantastic data/analytics team but they are just so busy with requests from the business, it’s difficult for them to take on anything new. The data world moves so quickly and that means that key infrastructure projects can come thick and fast. Whether that’s migrating legacy systems, updating your tool stack or undertaking strategic business initiatives, you often can’t afford to delay key projects. This is where external help can help ease the burden. While there’s bound to be some time spent onboarding an agency onto your stack, an agency gives you a flexible workforce that can compliment your own resource within a few months. They can free up your team from some of the more mundane aspects of data engineering, or help you tackle important projects where your internal team doesn’t have the capacity.

To Add Skills/Knowledge You’re Missing

Most external agencies will have a strength in a particular set of tools, or a particular type of project. They will know it inside and out and far better than your team might hope to in a short deadline. While it’s always good to enhance the skills of your team, a steep learning curve and internal deadlines are rarely a good mix and so it may make more sense to slot in some external resource.

But Where To Start?

It’s not always easy to find the right partner but here are some key considerations when looking:

Establish your business case – The more detailed your brief can be, the easier it will to find a partner with the right fit. A top level understanding of your current data setup, tools, what you are trying to accomplish and how the end business users will use the data will help.

Onboarding to the stack- You’ll need to get any external help up and running with your stack as quickly as possible. That means giving them access to your infrastructure and building in time to your project to answer questions. While not every agency will have experience in every tool, you should look for people with as close a fit as possible.

Team makeup- When selecting an agency, you should always look at the makeup of the team who’ll be helping you. You’ll most likely need a team of people with complimentary skills spanning data engineering, analysis, architecture and not forgetting project planning. Who will be working on your project? How senior are they? Where are they based? These factors will influence your overall project success.

The best way to get started is always with an informal conversion, so if there’s a data project on the horizon and you’re thinking of outsourcing, why not chat with the friendly team here at 173tech and see how we can help.

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