How Outsourcing Data Analytics Can Help You Build Competitive Strength in a Data-Driven World

By BDO Digital| May 25, 2018

In the past, advanced data analytics was reserved for big companies who had the time and budget to commission a project of such magnitude. These companies could expect to spend up to 2 years working on their data analytics platforms before they even started to see any real business impact. Jump to today, and all that has changed.

The cost of technology is coming down, and new innovative solutions are making it easier than ever for non-technical teams to access, scale, and analyze data in the cloud. In our experience, a data analytics project that would take years to complete in the past can take as little as 30 days to complete today – and that’s including data ingestion, data modeling, and even visualizations.

Additionally, the advent of the cloud has transformed the affordability and scalability of analytics. Cloud consumption plans allow you to only consume only what you need, giving customers the flexibility to scale their solution as their business grows.

Getting Started with Data Analytics Remains the Biggest Challenge

Given the fact that data analytics is now within reach of companies of all sizes, one would assume that every business would be grabbing at the opportunity to transform their data into real insights. However, our research suggests that many companies are still slow to get started.

Technology has advanced incredibly fast, and most companies have yet to recognize the opportunities before them. Additionally, data quality and data warehousing are highly specialized skills that aren’t often found in midsize organizations, so even companies with a desire to get started have trouble getting over the first obstacles.

Fortunately, more service providers are emerging that understand the needs of midsize companies and can help bridge the skill gap and guide organizations through the process. Companies that recognize this have a window of opportunity to launch themselves ahead of the competition.

Solving the Data Analytics Puzzle with Outsourcing

Many organizations are operating old, outdated analytics technology or they have lines of business operating with no analytics at all. The cost of maintaining or modernizing these solutions can seem daunting with so much technology disruption going on. No one wants to make the wrong financial gamble or invest big dollars in a new solution when a better one is right around the corner.

As the business struggles to identify good investments, IT is faced with a complex web of architectural choices to deliver a solution. Here are just some of the many questions that come up:

  • Should we build an enterprise data warehouse?
  • What is a data lake, and is this something we need?
  • Should we use best-of-breed tools or have vendor alignment on the entire platform?
  • If I choose one of these architectures now, what are my options in the near future if we need to pivot?
  • Will my team be able to deliver this if I choose one of these architectures?
  • Who can help if I’m stuck?

Despite the common perception that advanced data analytics in the cloud is far too radical and complex for midsize organizations to take on, it’s entirely possible to scale your approach to build competitive advantage in today's data-driven world.

Often times, this means partnering with an IT service provider who can map out a clear, often staged approach to accelerating your data analytics:

  1. Align: Interview each line of business to understand where data analytics will have the greatest impact
  2. Evaluate: Evaluate the current environment and make recommendations for modernizing the existing architecture
  3. Roadmap: Build out an Azure Analytics Roadmap that focuses on ROI and TCO for all recommended architecture
  4. Test: Investigate a meaningful pilot or POC that demonstrates how the technology will most benefit you
  5. Tackle your roadmap in phases: Begin a sprint-based agile implementation of the solution with week-long sprints.

The end result is a roadmap that's optimized for your company and designed to breakthrough your current roadblocks with agility.

At BDO Digital, we understand that companies are reluctant to get started with data analytics in the cloud. While putting off your data analytics projects in the short-term might feel like the safe choice, companies that are able to begin leveraging Big Data in the cloud right now have a unique opportunity to launch themselves ahead in their respective industries.

We understand the challenges most midsize companies are facing, and that's why the BDO Digital team is here to help with personalized solutions for your data analytics needs. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation to see what we can do for you.

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