First Analytics has been in business since 2009, though members of our team have longer histories with this type of work.
We generally operate only in the US and Canada, although there are exceptions. Several team members have Canadian work permits. Some are fluent in German, Spanish, and Italian.
We pride ourselves on our flexibility and working with our clients in the manner they prefer; we refer to this as “meeting you where you are”. This applies even to tools, technologies, workspaces and, of course, team structures.
We have often worked as adjuncts to data science teams, hardly distinguishable from employees. When working in this mode, we aim to not only deliver the identified projects but to share our experience in new methods or tools, as well as our views on how the analytics can be further improved or most effectively deployed.
We are a services company but many of our engagements include creating custom solutions or applications. We do not offer an out-of-the-box software product. However, we do have analytical routines or other reusable programs, in a variety of languages, that can be licensed or otherwise included in your application.
We thrive when building custom solutions. However, the level of customization depends on your analytic needs. There may be an out-of-the-box software solution available to do what you need; in which case we can help you identify and implement it.
Since much of our work is focused on industrializing analytics into core business processes, we often integrate with enterprise systems that run those processes. We are familiar with many of the enterprise software products and their APIs. If we are given the requirements and specifications, we can integrate with just about anything.
We have worked within many methodologies and their variants. We follow the lead of your project manager. Since analytic projects are often not as conducive to the same methodologies as traditional IT projects, we come prepared with a methodology for analytics projects, as well as provide advice and recommendations on how you may address your project, including in some cases suggesting that we manage the project.
In our experience — business, technology and often a separate analytics group — all need to be part of the discussion for successful development and deployment of analytics. We work with all entities who are key to the success of the analytics program.
We have learned that there are few “typical” projects, as client situation, state of the data or objective and size of the project varies. Universally, though, we look to get to value early for our clients and have developed our methodology and approaches with that in mind.
For a custom analytic solution, we start with a proof of concept, which is often 1 to 3 months, then move to implementation which can be 3 to 6 months. We also have longer-term, strategic projects that iterate, evolve and last several years.
As experienced analytic professionals and businesspeople who have managed and delivered projects like yours, we address risk regularly and often throughout the project, including:
We would very much like to work with you in addressing your critical business issue through analytics—that’s what we do!
We do, however, find RFPs a limited way for us to demonstrate how we can best help. We would welcome hearing from you, discussing your issue or project and see if, where, and how we can bring value.
Our goal is to help you make the right choice of software to fit your needs. We have experience working many analytical problem types with both open source and proprietary software, and we can help you compare their capabilities in the context of your needs and budget.
To provide the best solutions we can to our clients, we work to stay up-to-date and conversant with various software and platforms, as we know needs and situations vary and change, as well as for us to make appropriate recommendations that are sound for our clients.
At times, it benefits our clients and us to approach a situation in conjunction with a partner, though we are transparent that we will always do what is best for our clients.
We like to solve problems with analytics! So, there are few industries we avoid.
We realize that our solutions are not always the right ones for certain clients, especially in industries where there are easily implementable, solutions available.
Yes, but we prefer to find ways where we do need access to PII. Where we do, we will comply with the policies and applications you have in place. We also have our own security standards that are similar to or may exceed yours.
We often use our own software and servers for the initial evaluation of your data and proof-of-concept work. When we transition to full production / deployed solution, that should be on the client’s servers.
We, of course, take data security very seriously as both the raw material needed for analytics and as the valuable asset it is for your business.
We follow security best practices such as data encryption, virtual private networks, strong passwords, and we consult with third parties to assess and advise on security matters. We will further adhere to any policies or approaches used within your company.
We want our clients to gain the benefits of analytics as quickly as possible, at time this means us hosting proof-of-concept work or early stage analytics in our secure environment.
For mission-critical or timely, high-demand production systems we transition the analytics to your environment to ensure it is embedded and supported within your business as intended.
We have several years’ experience working with both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. We have also worked with Google Cloud. Our preferred platform is Microsoft Azure, but we are open to working with whatever platform you are already on.
As analytic professionals, we are constantly trying and using various software tools and platforms…you might say that we enjoy it!
You can view many of the tools we use in our Alliances and Certifications section, and we are always eager to add others which you are using.
We love skunkworks projects! From these projects come the impactful analytics that drives the next generation of your business.
We offer a Collaborative Analytics Lab where we provide a technical environment, pre-installed software stack, and access to the First Analytics team to test your prospective use cases; a safe and secure way to work on your latest analytics’ idea or concept.
One of the reasons our headquarters is located on the corporate campus of North Carolina State University is that it gives us access to academics, grad students, and research labs where some of the latest innovations in analytics and machine learning are happening. We have relationships with professors across several departments and regularly employ Ph.D. students as interns.