Back in 2015 we wrote an article entitled, “The Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing to a Data Agency.” The article discussed the value of hiring an outside data agency to strengthen decision making confidence by leverage data-driven consumer insights. While the key benefits hold true from then to now, it’s worth revisiting the context and implications of these benefits as they relate to the evolved, modern consumer market.
Here we are four years after the original article was posted and straight away there’s a significant shift in context and perspective; “outsourcing” is out, partnering is in. Yes, this shift can be seen as mere semantics – but there’s a world of difference in the approach and expectations of “outsourcing” compared to “partnering.”
First and foremost, the dynamic synergy of a partnership offers long-term value, whereas outsourcing on a project-by-project basis operates with a short-term vision. Partners share a single goal and work together toward success, rather than simply checking tasks off a list. Then there are the intangibles of passion, commitment and a vested interest that grows with time as the partnership strengthens. Just as consumers want a unique and personalized experience from brands, so too do businesses deserve the same level of care and attention from their business partners.
In this refreshed and revised article we will keep the benefits the same as we did back in 2015 because they are as relevant today as they were back then. However the shift in perspective and forward-reaching value of these benefits are what make us so excited to revisit this topic.
Here are the top 5 benefits of outsourcing to partnering with a data agency like MacKenzie Corp:
- Join a dedicated team of data professionals
Statistical analysis, database development, and project management are just a few of the skills required to effectively and efficiently convert consumer insights to goal-oriented action items. It’s also important to closely follow data-industry trends and advancements to ensure methodologies are aligned with today’s standards. These capabilities require specialized training and experience.
So while it’s understandable when businesses want to keep data projects in-house, the reality is that isn’t always the most prudent business decision. Joining forces with an outside agency that not only specializes in the most important areas but are available at your beckon call offers access and availability that might not be a realistic option internally.
- Gain capacity
There are three common reactions we see when launching data-driven initiatives with our partner brands; excitement, skepticism, or indifference. Our experience has shown that regardless of where we start in terms of initial buy-in, staff and key decision makers are quick to hop on board when they see the positive results.
While immediate demand for research and data analytics support may be contained to one department, once the ball gets rolling that can (and will) quickly change. A resource such as this which proves to be successful for one team will surely be requested by another team. Before you know it there’s an overwhelming number of project requests and a backlog of incoming data to be analyzed.
This scenario results in projects either being delayed, dropped, or only receiving a fraction of the attention needed to fully achieve the initial objectives. This is not to say internal teams lack the skills to accomplish goals, but rather they often don’t have the time or resources needed to meet the growing demand. Partnering with an experienced data team will alleviate this strain and ensure that your entire organization has the analytic support and access needed to hit the ground running.
- Take advantage of specialized tools
Consider the individual steps required to access, collect, organize, analyze and report the data most relevant to your business. Not only does each of these steps require equal attention and energy, there are specific methodologies, programs and technologies best suited for each. Then come the phases of review, discussion, decision-making and ultimate application of these findings. The array of toolkits needed to effectively manage all these moving parts is surprisingly vast.
Staying up-to-date on industry best practices and new technologies is a daunting task within itself. Rather than slipping behind the curve in terms of what is possible in the world of data analytics, partnering with an outside data team offers access to the most current trends, programs and analytic methods to ensure your company stays ahead of the game.
- Save money
This one is simple; licensing data programs gets expensive, and there’s no guarantee the program(s) you choose are the best fit for your needs. Rather than investing valuable resources on things that may never yield the ROI you’d hoped, partner with a data team that will offer access to their tools and expertise.
With an experienced data partner, as your data needs change you won’t be left having to transfer accounts or learn new systems. Furthermore, you’ll have access to a number of different tools that may not be worth full licensing but are still extremely valuable to your company. This approach will increase your options and maximize value.
- Save time
Sometimes it’s not a matter of dollars and cents; the most precious resource is days and hours. Upon establishing a skills gap within your company, the application and hiring processes begin. By the time someone is hired, trained and fully up to speed it can be months after the skills gap was first identified. By that time, your company’s objective may be completely different requiring a different set of skills leaving your company in the same position it was in months ago.
Since a major value proposition of data is realized when applied to decision making, time is of the essence. A lag time of months can result in missed opportunities which can be detrimental to the bottom line. When partnering with an outside data team, a project can be up-and-running in just a few days rather than taking a few months. An entire team of experienced professionals can get to work right now rather than one staff member sometime down the road.
Many organizations struggle to turn even small amounts of data into useful, actionable information. Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or a start-up ready to break onto the scene, the cost-benefit ratio favors a data partner. That said, it’s about finding the RIGHT data partner to get you where you want to go.
For over 30 years, we at MacKenzie Corp have developed and tailored our approach to best fit the unique goals of our partner brands. The only way we are successful is if you are successful.
If you have data needs, we have data solutions. Give us a shout and let’s discuss a partnership that makes sense for your company based on your goals.