A data strategy consultant helps to define your strategic vision, build a team, and architect a technology stack to meet your needs. Two scenarios to hire a data strategy consultant are 1) modern data architecture design and 2) data strategy assessment.
1. Data strategy assessment - The best place to start with any data initiative is by understanding where you are going and why. By assessing your data strategy, a consultant can make sure you're on the right path
2. Modern data architecture design - Once you have a clear sense of how to create business value from data, you then need a technology stack that will scale with your ambitions. A good consultant will match your business requirements with the technologies that are the best fit
Whether you are looking for modern data architecture design or data strategy assessment, you should consider three options to accomplish your goal:
There are hundreds, of consultancies that can help with data strategy projects. We have compiled a list of over 175+ consultants that you should evaluate. Here's the comprehensive list.
We have included many of the most recognized enterprise data consultancies in the world, as well as boutique consulting firms like The Seattle Data Guy.
If you need a consultant that can build and manage custom ETL pipelines that load data into your cloud data warehouse, Portable can help.
Portable builds custom data pipelines so your business intelligence team can focus on data analysis.
Data strategy consultants can take on projects that include:
Master data management
Real-time vs. batch processing strategy
Custom ETL connector development
When evaluating a data strategy consultant you should follow these 5 steps:
1. Define your data strategy goals
2. Outline a project description or job description
3. Evaluate the available consulting firms
4. Refine your options and check references
5. Begin with a data strategy project that is small in scope
When you consider hiring a consultant or a full-time employee, it's important to understand:
The value they can create
The amount it will cost
Data strategy consultants can drive value from either:
Data analytics - Better decision-making
Process automation - Replacing manual business processes with technology
Product development - Generating revenue from client adoption
Start by outlining the specific projects you believe will create the most value and then identify any vertical-specific requirements (healthcare, e-commerce, marketing, etc.) that need to be taken into account.
Once you have defined how a data strategy consultant can create value, you then need to understand the cost to make such an investment.
For instance, if you were hiring a full-time employee, the cost is mostly the result of salary range and benefits. When considering a consultant, you need to understand the project costs, hourly costs, or retainer pricing model that will be required.
Once you understand the path to value creation and the necessary level of investment to make progress against your goals, you need a clear description of the role and responsibilities.
This is where a project description will come in handy.
In the project description, you should outline the project title, pay range, and business requirements. You should also consider including:
Communication skills required
Years of experience with data strategy
Remote vs. onsite work expectations
Relevant expertise in project management methodologies (agile, waterfall)
Knowledge of your specific technology stack and tooling (Salesforce, Zendesk, NetSuite, IBM, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.)
Education (when applicable - bachelor's degree, computer science, engineering boot camp, etc.)
Don't forget to check local, state, and federal laws to make sure you hire fairly and include the necessary details in your project description.
It's now time to evaluate your options.
Where can you discover consulting firms? Here is a list of 175+ data consultants that could be a fit.
We recommend setting up introductory meetings with as many companies as you can. Most of these firms will have a 'Contact Us' form or a 'Schedule An Introductory Meeting' button on their website where you can get in touch.
Within a couple of hours, you can schedule 20+ meetings and start identifying the most promising partners.
As you identify the data strategy consultancies that could be the best fit, make sure to get references, evaluate projects, and ask for testimonials and case studies.
External certification, validation, and social proof do not guarantee a great experience, but a lack of external validation is a good sign that you should do more research before signing up for a big project.
Regardless of the consultant you choose, it's always a best practice to start small.
If you can begin with a month-to-month agreement or work on an hourly or project-based model for a few weeks, it allows you to evaluate a few key things:
Will you have a good working relationship with the consultant?
Is the consultant responsible?
Is the consultant able to communicate effectively?
Are the deliverables produced of high quality?
As you see success, you can always increase the scope of your relationship, or even decide to hire a full-time employee if the scope becomes large enough.
One common way to get started with a data strategy consultant is by building a custom ETL pipeline.
If that's what you're looking for, Portable can help.
Here's how you can get started with using Portable for custom ETL.
Create an account (no credit card necessary)
Connect your data source
Authenticate with the data source
Select your destination and configure your credentials
Create a data flow between your source and your data warehousing environment
Run your flow to start syncing data from your source to your destination
Set your data flow to run on a cadence
Portable is a cloud-hosted ETL tool (we offer a product, not a service). While we do not sell data strategy consulting services, we do build custom ETL (extract, transform, load) integrations on-demand for clients as part of our product offering, for free.
We have spent years building a platform on which we can build no-code ETL integrations for clients. As a result, we can build net new custom ETL connectors in hours or days and optimize them to your requirements.
Because we specialize in ETL pipelines, you will receive out-of-the-box notifications, data quality, and governance that you might not receive from a consultant.
As part of your data management strategy, if you are thinking about hiring a consultant or ETL developer to develop or manage data extraction workloads, let us know - we're happy to provide a second perspective.
With Portable, you can expect the same personalized experience as a consultant without paying the prices that come along with custom services.
At Portable, custom ETL is our specialty.
Portable can offer the personalized experience of a data integration consultant without the prices that come along with custom work. Portable manages the ETL process so your team can focus on insights.
Looking for a custom data integration? Get started with Portable.