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What are Barefoot Data Science’s Transitional Services?

Barefoot Data Science’s transitional services may be right for you.

Are you currently:

  • Transitioning to MicroStrategy – Are you new to MicroStrategy, and in need of moving older reporting solutions over? I can assist you in using MicroStrategy’s best practices in your new reporting environment.
  • Transitioning away from MicroStrategy – Are you migrating away from MicroStrategy? I can assist you and the team for your new tool in both the migration, and in maintaining the MicroStrategy system during the transition.
  • Going through a major Organizational Transition – Have you had a recent merger, bankruptcy, buy-out, or other major change in focus as a company? I can help you keep your environment stable during this challenging time, and assist with the eventual transition into the new format.

What’s included:

  • In-depth knowledge of MicroStrategy projects, experience with transitions of this sort, and experience with other tools.
  • An hourly contract for remote as-needed work.
  • A daily contract for all pre-planned onsite work (with travel costs included)*
  • Work consisting of :
    • Maintaining stability
    • Applying fixes,
    • Assistance in the eventual migration to a new solution.
    • Documentation and training

NOTE: Development of new reporting would be handled under a separate agreement and/or planning. 

For a detailed breakdown of the phases of a transitional project see this post.

Pay-as-you-go:

Because as a rule a transition period does not lend itself to cleanly estimated and scoped projects, the contract will include a rate for hourly remote work, and a rate for on-site daily work (which includes travel costs), but no pre-purchased or committed number of days or hours to pay for. 

Instead, we will:

  • Have regularly planned discussions and sign-offs at pre-determined intervals (ex. weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • Have regularly planned discussions at set hour burn-downs (ex. After 80 hours, 100 hours, etc.)
  • Have weekly (or daily, if requested) burn-down and status reports.

I know from experience that this sort of transition comes with very inconsistent time needs. I’ve seen clients within transitions needing a person for half a day in a month, and I’ve seen needs of 20 days in a month.

The primary focus here is to avoid costs associated with a full time employee, or needlessly burning hours for an onsite resource if the work does not require it. There are some trade-offs, of course, but really you’ll need to be able to bring someone in as-needed, who understands your environment. It may not always be possible to get assistance right away in the way a full time employee could provide, but if you have the possibility of remote work, emergencies can usually be managed in a relatively timely fashion.

My story

I’ve been a business intelligence expert for two decades and a consultant for much of the last 12 years. I’ve seen hundreds of data environments on all six continents. In a surprisingly large number of my projects I’ve dealt with unexpected transitions – from the business intelligence team being laid off while I was onsite and having to take over the entire environment long term, to working with companies going through bankruptcies, to the general process of migrating from one tool to another.

So what happened was that I developed a skillset in dealing with transitions that is pretty specific. It’s based entirely on experience that I never tried to build, and couldn’t have built intentionally – it just sort of happened by chance, so I have learned skills that not many people will have the opportunity to learn. Also, because I’m fascinated by technology, and always interested in learning new tools, my personal interests dovetail into this sort of work nicely.

Enthusiasm – the reason to hire a consultant for transitional work.

If you have a full time employee familiar with the old business intelligence environment and excited by the new tool, you do not need me.

Enthusiasm can do wonders for keeping people engaged, but when the job is to keep things stable until it’s eventually dismantled, that’s not present.

There was a study years back where they paid people to put together a toy, and they found that if they put the toy on a shelf to display it, people would keep building new toys happily. But for the same money, if the toy was then hidden or destroyed, people would stop much sooner.

People need to see their work as falling on a continuum – that one thing leads to another. If it seems like something they devoted their time to building is simply going away, they will leave either in reality or in their minds. And that second one is worse, because it leads to them filling a space, costing money, but not really contributing. This isn’t good for you or them.

And this isn’t a sign of laziness or something you can make them do differently. This is how the human brain works. A person has to feel like what they do matters. So often people will resign in transition periods, regardless of the pay or benefits or training given to them.

Again, I don’t want to generalize – this doesn’t happen to everyone, but it will happen to some, and so it’s important to gauge the enthusiasm of your employees.

As a consultant, I very specifically look at the transition as the achievement, and do not feel this enthusiasm gap. Bringing me in to manage your environment during the transition will avoid that motivation concern, and allow your team to focus on other things.

What are the alternatives?

As I say, if you have employees currently engaged and engaged with the transition process, transition services may not be for you (though, perhaps I can offer other assistance).

If it is an option for you to go with a fully hosted solution, that may be the better choice. Many providers of this service are able to take on a large amount of the patching, maintenance, and machine management that I would provide, and also offer as-needed assistance.

Moving to a hosted environment is, however, also a transition that will take time, effort, and money, and I know from experience that this is not always available for companies in transition. When you’re in the situation where these things are not available, I might be a good option.

My goal is not to make money at all costs. I am happy to assist you for whatever step of the process you need help, but I need to know I’m the right person and can provide the right value to you.

*I can legally work within the EU and US (and within the rules of NAFTA, the EEA, etc. there are a number of other places I can work), but am willing to assist remotely globally, provided you are willing to work under Dutch law with regards to my contract.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I am ONLY available remotely.

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