I run a Data Science Consulting company, and I say analytics consulting is a SCAM! Why?
I can say so because I have been on both sides of the table, having hired analytics consulting companies for big organizations and also providing analytics consulting services to top companies. I have seen projects worth hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted, and I have seen them becoming successful too. In November 2017, Gartner released a report stating that 60% of big data projects fail. The company further moved this figure up a notch to 85%.
My personal experience also tees up to these statistics: It is surely a scam.
Now, let’s think about this for a minute. If you buy a house for $300K, you are guaranteed to get one. Would you have bought it if there were 60–85% chance of you not procuring the house? You would probably term this obnoxious house purchase a scam. Further, most of us have probably seen outputs of consulting projects worth $300K gather dust. Think: isn’t analytics consulting a scam then?
However, when you have a burning need to solve a customer on-boarding issue or optimize your marketing spend, and your internal team doesn’t have the required bandwidth or expertise, you do need to hire a consulting company.
But, how can you do that in a manner that you do not get scammed?
Here are my four learnings on how to avoid being scammed.
- Making sure that you have an executive buy-in — A Fortune Knowledge Group survey revealed that most of the 85% of the failure that Gartner reported were likely a result of executives’ tendency to trust their gut rather than data. Some of these cascades down the organization with political infighting on who gets to own the project as well as who is equipped to staff it. So, before you initiate any $300K analytics project, make sure you have executives and key stakeholders on board, i.e. they are ready to go beyond giving lip service to analytics and data science, and put insights to work.
- Always start with an assessment — Invite your consulting partner onsite, let them hear about the issue at hand from all the stakeholders involved, including the executives, and allow them to craft a viable solution that is agreed upon by every stakeholder. If your consulting partner can come up with a solution that all the key stakeholders in your organization agrees to and are excited about, your project is more likely to fall in the winning 15% of the Gartner report.
- Make sure the assessment is priced right — about $20K or less for small scope and $50–75K for larger scope and supported by a money back guarantee — Most consulting companies worth their salt should be able to give you an assessment for this amount and provide a clear line of sight to the solution. If they can’t, they are not the right partner for you.
- Hold your consulting partner accountable for the plan drafted in the assessment — If your Statement of Work (SOW) pays against deliverables, you are aligning your company’s interest with that of your analytics consulting partner and hence, you are more likely to succeed.
If you have a big business challenge that data can deliver insights towards, let Aryng’s SWAT data science team do an onsite assessment for $20K with a money back guarantee. Contact us and let’s get started.
Thank you for reading my post. I am passionate about using data to build better products and create amazing customer experiences. I write about my learnings at LinkedIn and at Forbes. To read my future posts, simply join my network here or click ‘Follow’ or join me on Twitter.
About Piyanka Jain
A highly regarded industry thought-leader in data analytics, Piyanka Jain is an internationally acclaimed best-selling author, frequent keynote speaker on using data-driven decision-making for competitive advantage at both corporate leadership summit as well as business conferences. At Aryng, She leads her SWAT Data science team to solve complex business problems, develop the company’s Data DNA and deliver rapid ROI using machine learning, deep learning, and AI. Her client list includes companies like Google, Box, Here, Applied Materials, Abbott Labs, GE. As a highly regarded industry thought leader in analytics, she writes for publications including Forbes, HBR and InsideHR.