Printed 2017/08/17 12:29AM

Consultants – Why pay more?


As an independent consultant who has a higher bill rate than average, I would hope it is obvious to clients that the extra money spent would be well worth it.  But that is not always the case, and sometimes who have to help them to understand, like most things in this world, you get what you pay for.  The added value you can get with a higher-priced independent consultant can pay for itself many times over, especially when you are building an end-to-end business intelligence solution.  Here are my reasons why it makes sense to hire the higher-priced independent consultant:

As BI consultant and longtime colleague of mine Garrett Edmondson pointed out, there are some inherent risks as well. 

It can be very difficult for an organization to determine if the consultant (independent or otherwise) actually has the required skills because in many instances the organization lacks those skills internally.  Otherwise, why would the consultant be needed?

You should own your organizational deficiencies and enlist the help of a very knowledgeable/expensive consultant to help fill either a fulltime or contract position.  A little investment on the front end can yield tremendous results.  Also, the very knowledgeable/expensive consultant can train and mentor a junior BI developer by actually implementing a solution with him. 

Just because someone comes from a large consulting company does not necessarily mean that they have the required skills.  In my experience most large consulting companies actually have very small DW/BI practices, and that void is filled in by smaller consulting companies that specialize in DW/BI.

A few things can be done mitigate the risks:

In my humble opinion, a true data warehouse/ BI expert is worth their weight in gold.  Ask for references and then actually contact them!

Most hardware/software vendors have a list of recommended partners.  They are usually on the recommended list because they have been successful in the past, which might be a good indication of future results. 

While it might have been possible in the past to have one guy know it all when it comes to BI, I don’t think that is still possible.  Do you really think that someone can truly be an expert in all of the following?

I could easily double the size of the list.  It simply is not possible to know it all when it comes to BI and finding an organization that truly has expertise in all areas of BI is rare.

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