In this digital world, geography or location is not an impediment to business outcomes. However, if you are an offshore data analytics provider, these best practices are essential to making a remote client-vendor relationship successful.
In 2019, the Global Data Analytics Outsourcing Market was valued at $3.04 billion, and it is expected to reach $9.46 billion by 2025 at CAGR of 21.5% (2020-2025).When it comes to analyzing big data, the
three Vs – volume, variety and velocity of data play an important role in insight generation. Increase in quantum in these three are the driving forces for outsourcing in the analytics industry.
In a globalized world, teams and clients are distributed across countries and regions. Technology has further flattened this world and there are ever increasing instances of people working across borders. This trend is common in the data analytics industry where the expertise and service quality of the vendor scores over the location.
Most vendors are keen to partner with clients across the globe but differing work cultures and wrongly aligned objectives can jeopardize project outcomes. Here are some best practices to ensure that geography doesn’t jeopardize building your long-term relationship with a remote client.
- Understand the data security and data privacy requirements of the client
Working with clients across the globe would mean compliance with their data security requirements.If you are working with a client who is based out of the US or Europe, then you have to keep a check on the data
privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) to avoid any legal complications that may arise due to non-compliance. Additionally, it becomes more complex if the client is a product/service provider to another part of the world. One way to tackle this is to adopt the most stringent data security and privacy measures relevant to the client and engage a consultant/employee to manage documentation and declaration with respect to these compliances.
- Align your work culture and organizational practices
Despite a shrinking world, the culture of an organization is still influenced by the country they are located in.So before commencing work with a client, it is important to understand that country’s work culture well.
For example, will the holidays and time zones match during the course of the project? How can we respect those? Is your staff comfortable with the language of the client or will they need training? Location can also impact your client’s place on the data maturity curve, that describes whether a company is reactive or proactive when it comes to data management and deployment. Understanding the data maturity broadly prevalent in a geographical zone is important to structuring your project as well as communicating insights in a manner that fits with client needs.
- Build an effective project management system with your client
Having a Statement of Work (SOW) can truly help both parties create a successful work equation. In the case of an analytics outsourcing project, the SOW refers to effective project management practices which
include specifics on the time needed for insights to be generated, reporting intervals for the vendor, data security measures to be adopted and even specifics on the analytics models being adopted, if needed.
Including aspects like monitoring, managing, reporting and escalation across operational and financial processes through pre-defined parameters ensures accountabilities from both client and vendor.
- Invest time in setting up uniform communication and meeting mechanisms
Creating a clear communication plan with thorough identification of primary and secondary points of contact for different work areas is important for seamless collaborations. Creating a timesheet
for regular meetings and communication through virtual communication and collaboration tools in a language understood by both client and vendor is imperative for a smooth working relationship. Basecamp and Scoro are some examples of project management tools that enable smooth communication and timely deliveries owing to their many features. You can choose the tool that is best suited for your requirement.
Communication in the field of Data Analytics is highly dependent on visualization. Check with the client on their ease of understanding popular tools like Tableau, Plotly, Datawrapper etc., and choose your tool accordingly. Aligning this at an early stage of collaboration will help in better understanding of data and ultimately richer conversations with the clients around insight generation.
- Set up a realistic pilot before a long-term engagement
Your client may also be experiencing a vendor from your geography for the first time. For instance, Africa is an emerging vendor destination for clients, with the data center market valued to cross $3 billion by 2025
and growing at a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period. If you are a vendor from Africa and if your client has been working with vendors from Asia or the Middle East for a considerable period of time, chances are that the client may want to do a pilot first before going full fledged on the project. As vendors, being open and maintaining transparency in terms of staff, work structure and contract are the best things to bring about a relationship of trust and mutual respect.
At the same time, watch out if the client is also investing their time in this relationship by making you a part of discussions around data mining and insight generation. Vendor and client education is a two way relationship where each mutually benefits from the other.
As per Forrester Insights-Driven Business Set the Pace for Global Growth insights driven businesses are growing at an average of more than 30% each year, and by 2021, they are predicted to take $1.8 trillion annually from their less-informed peers. Hence partnering with clients across borders will assume even more importance in the coming years.
If you are a vendor looking to showcase your work and get connected to reputed clients, then register with Analytics Genie and become a part of a global Data Analytics cohort.