Big Data & Analytics why its worth calling the experts in

Big Data Analytics – When to call the experts in

Big Data, Marketing Insight & Analytics

You have an internal insight & analytics team so you have everything covered and don’t need to call in the ‘Big Data’ analytics experts for help or support – right? wrong.

Big data, research and analytics has become a key essential in today’s marketplace. The UK professional research and evidence market generates up to £4.8b a year of Gross Value Added (GVA, and employs 73,00 highly-qualified people according to an independent review by PwC (The Business of Evidence Report 2016). Data analytics is cited as exhibiting the highest growth rate in the industry with 350% growth since 2012 with an estimated GVA of £355 – £497M.

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS, commented in the review that “the incredible growth we have seen since 2012 is testament to the value that organisations place on the importance of evidence-based decisions. It reflects the increasing confidence and importance of research and its practitioners to decisions being made at every level across both the public and private sectors”.

This awareness of the importance of data analytics has led to many companies bringing this function in house by way of a data analyst or whole analytics team. This is a great move for companies understanding the benefits a data driven approach can bring to the business. However, many businesses will shy away from the offer of additional support from external agencies because they think they have it ‘covered’ with their in-house team. This is a reasonable assumption, but don’t be so quick to say no. Sometimes getting in external expertise or experience for a specific project, could be the key that helps unlock the real potential within your team and provides the leg up needed to open the door to possibilities.

Extensive Knowledge – External experts work with data day in and day out, so have expertise and knowledge across your sector but potentially also bring much broader experience and ideas from different sectors. This on the job learning enables us to draw on our experience and find the right approach and solution to suit your project. We’ve tried it, learnt from it and come to the other end of the steep learning curve, so you don’t have to.

Fresh Pair of Eyes – Quite often when a project is challenging or complex, your team can become so involved and close to the data and project, there is a tendency to look at problems in the same way as before. An external resource can bring fresh eyes to a project. We can provide an outside point of view and look at your business with you, to understand what questions need to be answered. We will be able to come up with sophisticated models to address the specific project, rather than getting bogged down in a mass of data and possible different avenues.

Time constraints – Internal teams are usually already busy with ongoing projects or day to day analytic requirements. If you have a pressing data insights project which you can never get around to, bringing in external resource on a project basis can actually prove to be a cost-effective solution. We can concentrate on the project in hand without any distractions, ensuring your project gets our undivided attention, delivered on time and to brief.

Consolidate multiple data sources – You may have analysts that are comfortable analysing data sets, but larger complex insight projects might require collation or consolidation of different data sets. Pulling together different disparate data sources requires data processing and formatting to create an accurate single customer view. This is a niche exercise and might be over and above your internal team’s capabilities. Don’t fall at the first hurdle by inaccurately consolidating data which your team then use for future analysis.

Providing a Total Picture – External agencies have the relationships, in-house data and software to enable them to pull together and analyse large amounts of different data sets in combination with your internal data. Rather than one dimensional picture of your internal transactions, we can provide a detailed picture by overlapping your internal data with external data sets for example consumer demographics, workplace, retail, competition. This in-depth analysis will provide more insight that is not skewed to your internal view, enabling you to make robust and informed business decisions.

Knowledge – It’s easy to fall into the trap of analysing internal data with a blinkered vision or setting up projects that are biased and have a propensity to report what you believe or expect. External experts have the knowledge and ability to ensure your project briefs are scoped and then analysed accordingly. Your team can then take the results and run with it, continuing the ongoing analysis.

External resource does not need to overshadow the work your team are doing. We can provide fresh thinking and enthusiasm that can be needed to unlock the true potential of your team. Working closely with data experts can provide a boost that many teams need and the stimulus to a more effective and efficient team moving forwards.

So, before you say we can do all of this in house, pause, reflect and think about how an external resource might be able to add value and a different approach for ad hoc projects. Asking for help doesn’t have to be viewed in a negative way. It’s not admitting defeat or showing a weakness within your team. Outsourcing a project can enable your analysts or insight team to concentrate on their day job rather than getting bogged down in data integration, collation and modelling that may well be a stretch too far.

Actionable Insight is just that – insight that drives action. If you aren’t getting the results or answers you need, take action. Look for a data expert to dovetail with your internal resource, whether for a single project or ongoing strategic support.