Frequently Asked Questions

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We help organizations maximize the value of their information assets and make informed, strategic business decisions regarding data management. To accomplish this, we have to deliver more than just technology.  We also focus efforts on understanding a company’s core business or operational processes and the associated workflows.  With this knowledge, we can then implement appropriate technology solutions or provide the proper guidance.

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Depending on the need, we concentrate in four main areas:  data collection, data aggregation/sorting/manipulation, data presentation/reporting/visualization, and data analysis & interpretation. However, everything starts with problem definition. Nothing will cause a data-related project to fail more quickly than improperly identifying the real business and operational problems.

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Although everyone’s data and workflow processes are different, the challenges and bottlenecks are similar.  Therefore, we try to keep our approach  the same in terms of starting with a short discovery phase and having that define a next phase in which we can deliver high-impact improvement which proves our value and quickly recovers the cost of bringing us in.  By not reinventing the wheel for each customer in either the process followed or the reusable open source framework we’ve built, we can keep costs lower than traditional approaches and return investment in usually less than 6 months.

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Because the biggest deterrent to small and mid-sized businesses tackling their agonizing data challenges is a history of software and other technology vendors overcommitting and under-delivering on projects. There often isn’t sufficient definition of need at the outset, and projects can get unruly (and over-budget) as a result. We avoid that by breaking what could be a large project into individual sections. Each can be budgeted and has a tangible outcome.

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If you working with paper-based systems, we help migrate and convert them to digital systems. If you are working with applications that can be limiting at a certain point, such as Microsoft Access or Excel, we can suggest better options.  The key is determining where you are presently and where you need to be.

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You’re certainly not alone.  Many businesses really struggle to adequately manage all the data they collect and create. This can significantly limit your ability to take advantage of business opportunities, your ability to develop and leverage information-based insights, and your ability to be proactive and use data strategically.  We can help you arrive at a starting point from which you can gradually progress smartly and affordably.

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Two attributes. We hire people who are naturally curious and who have a passion for helping others solve problems. These are incredibly important when tackling information management challenges. Without them, the right questions won’t get be asked and the best solutions won’t be discovered. Integrity, technical aptitude, good communication skills and other attributes are also very important of course, but curiosity and problem solving passion make the difference in our business.

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The majority of the time, yes.  This is a very common problem and a big challenge for companies of all size.  We’ll do a proper assessment to determine the options for integrating two systems and then recommend which one makes the most sense, if any.  Sometimes, the integration task is so cumbersome that it can’t be cost-justified.  But usually we can come up with a way to do it cost-effectively, plus the technology tools for doing integration have gotten much better/less expensive.

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Absolutely.  If you are able to collect and use data more efficiently, there are residual benefits that add value across your business.  Effective data management can improve your ability to sustain high customer satisfaction and retain customers long-term. It can and can also impact employee morale and productivity in a very positive way. Many companies underestimate how much morale and productivity are hurt when employees feel frustrated on a daily basis because of the difficulty in accessing and using the data they need.

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Yes.  It is more cost-effective from a licensing standpoint, and these savings get passed along to clients.  It also allows to build more adaptable, modular and specific solutions for clients who don’t want software that is designed for the masses which doesn’t fully address their unique requirements.

Although we are proponents of and design solutions using open source software, we do regularly evaluate commercial off-the-shelf software for clients that is not open source and which may turn out to be the best fit for their specific needs.

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