Freelancing, contracting and ‘body shopping’ are common working arrangements in many industries today, including data analytics. Datamine is often asked by our clients and prospective clients about the possibility of us putting one of our technical team members in their office or on their site in order to get their agile analytics initiatives off the ground. Though face-to-face communication is always best, and though we completely understand the reasoning behind our clients wanting this sort of arrangement, we don’t body shop at Datamine. Here’s why.
Two of the six values that govern the way Datamine runs are ‘Better Together’ and ‘Never Fail to Deliver a Solution’. We believe that in order to deliver a great result, you need teamwork across multiple business and technical people, which is why all our projects have at least three (and sometimes up to double digits) dedicated Dataminers working on them – from business consultants and account managers to data engineers and statisticians. Within the Datamine HQ, our team members are able to communicate and work effectively together to push projects across the line and deliver the best possible solution.
Body shopping only gives you the perspective, capability and breadth of experience of one person. In the field of data analytics, there are many special skill sets - for example, automating solutions, designing solutions, architecting solutions, doing statistics and modelling and more. There is such a diverse range of skills within each data solution that one person simply can’t be an expert at all of them!
To give an example from a different industry, let’s say you’re working with an advertising agency - there are people who write the copy, people who do the design and people who liaise with clients. You wouldn’t ask the designer to write the ad, would you? When tackling any issue involving data, you need a team - not only from an opportunity perspective, but also with regards to risk and efficiency. Body shopping creates dependencies on that one person and the IP they grow and develop, meaning if for whatever reason they move on, you’ve lost that capability (even if they recorded their processes). Relying on one person also means the work has to be done sequentially, which can be much slower than a project with a dedicated team of people working in different streams simultaneously.
We don’t body shop - we communicate.
Though Datamine doesn’t put people on our clients’ sites to do the work, we do get all of the project’s dedicated team members across to our client’s office at appropriate points during the process. This is because we believe there is value not only in having people with different skill sets relaying information to the relevant parties, but also because it builds a closer relationship and sense of collaboration between our two organisations. Here are three of the main ways we facilitate this communication throughout a project:
- At the beginning of a project, members of our Client Services team (who you can meet here) run workshops with multiple stakeholders from both ends that need to be involved, and we may or may not get the technical teams involved at this stage as well
- During the project, our consultants, account managers and technical teams frequently have face-to-face meetings and phone calls with the client to monitor progress and unblock any issues. These are at the cadence to suit, which may be as frequently as daily
- Once the bulk of the analytical work is complete (depending on the complexity of the project), our technical people spend time at the client’s site to help with implementation of the solution
Throughout any agile project, we work alongside you to gather your requirements and ultimately deliver a better result than you’d get through body shopping – if you’re still concerned that working with an analytics partner wouldn’t provide the level of support you’d need, get in touch with us and we can work with you to find a solution. To learn more about Datamine’s values and what sets us apart from other analytics providers, check out the Datamine Story here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SALLY CAREY
Sally’s 30 years of experience in strategy and quantitative decision-making ensures she can always be relied on to deliver extraordinary results. Sally is a co-owner and director of Datamine. Originally from the UK, she is a fellow of the UK Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and holds a BA in Systems Analysis and MBA from Bradford University.