Selecting a partner for data analysis is a challenge. There are many different aspects to consider and it is important to know which criteria should prevail in favor of the specific one. I will describe my perspective below and outline some aspects that are important when selecting a partner for data analysis.
There Are Different Kinds of Analytics
Firstly, it is worth remembering that data analysis can mean something different in every company. It’s a broad subject that can cover:
- data analysis regarding online shops, e-commerce, etc.
- data analysis in social media, e.g. on Facebook
- analysis related to the company’s media budget, i.e. expenditure on online and offline advertising, e.g. carried out in a perfumery chain
- analysis related to the efficiency of coal mining in a specific mine
- data analysis related to the use of particular functions on the airplane navigation console
- an analysis of the data collected from the car fleet that we manage
- and many, many more.
Data analysis covers many areas. In each of them, experience of understanding specific activities, constraints, needs and challenges is essential. Each of them requires different technologies, knowledge or direction of development, which it can gain thanks to professional analytics. Below you will find those aspects which, in my opinion, are the most important from the point of view of selecting an analytical partner.
Experience in the Branch
We should look for entities that are present in our industry. The ones that have carried out similar implementations and can help not only in pure data analysis, but also in the formulation of conclusions and in the real impact on our business. Only then can we hope that we will actually be able to benefit not only from professional services, but also from some kind of knowledge transfer.
Experience in Technologies
Depending on the branch, the type of technology needed and used may vary. In the case of e-commerce we focus on analytical tools related to implementation such as:
- Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager
- Adobe Marketing Cloud
- Yandex Metrica.
The company that is to become our partner should use one of them, have at least several implementations in its portfolio as well as experience in working with the selected technology.
In the context of data visualization, the company with which we want to establish cooperation, should have experience with a system selected from the following:
Considering the e-commerce environment, our potential analytical partner should have experience in implementation and conversion analytics. Therefore, it is worth checking the experience of working with e.g.:
- A/B Testing
- Click Tracking
- Form Tracking.
A professional analytical company must also have experience in working with the following databases:
- Other, e.g. non-relational databases, delivered in files, through API, web services etc.
- Other, e.g. Amazon, Azure, Google cloud solutions.
Another issue that should be considered is the experience in the field of data modeling using solutions based on programming languages, e.g. Python, R. It may seem that this is a lot. But it a normal thing in the work of a professional analyst. And each of them may be useful in a different moment of cooperation. So it is worth protecting yourself and looking after cooperation with a partner offering comprehensive analytical services.
Experience in Methodology, Operation Process
We should ask the potential partner about project experience in conducting analytical work, methods and tools used in the project, as well as workflow management, documents and risk management. This is a very important element. Because proper project management guarantees us the delivery of results and smooth cooperation.
Data analysis is designed to help our company achieve better results, increase the knowledge of our customers and provide a source of conclusions, the implementation of which is to support sales. This is the most important objective of cooperation with data analysts. This is why it is so important to verify experience and knowledge in formulating business conclusions, translating data into specific recommendations and actions that a potential analytical partner is supposed to offer us. Without this, our cooperation will not bring results or satisfaction.
In addition, it is also worth checking whether the company we are talking to has experience in working with various entities, both in terms of their size and the industries in which they operate. The greater the diversity of experience, the greater the transfer of knowledge and the guarantee of successful implementation of our project.
Communication with the Team
It is worth getting to know the whole team of the analytical company with which we will work. It is easier to work together, to be able to put a name to a face, remembering who is responsible for specific areas.
In addition, it is also good to verify the responsiveness of our partner. Request information on how we will contact them. Whether we are working on a specific CRM, whether e-mails and telephones are enough. As a result, we can have a guarantee of efficient communication, and thus a smooth implementation of projects and the achievement of the assumed objectives.
Before starting cooperation with an analytic partner, it is worth discussing the security of our data, both our business and our personal data, with them. Therefore, we should ask if the company has a GDPR policy in place and what its approach to data security is.
Moreover, it is also good to learn whether it cooperates with a law firm. And to know whether the infrastructure of our partner guarantees security. We do not want our data to leak. Most importantly, it is the responsibility of the partner to ensure the security of our data. So that we can feel comfortable and start cooperating with confidence in each other.
Analytical Partner – Business Partner
As it can be seen, when selecting a company offering analytical services, we should pay attention to many issues. They range from those related to experience in the branch, technologies, similar projects, to security and communication. Certainly, it is worth spending more time on this decision. Thanks to this, a professional analytical partner will quickly become our best business advisor, who will care about our success.