The Ironside and DataRobot Partnership Empowers More Non-Data Scientists

The DataRobot AI Partner Program is continuing to evolve and grow, so we’d like to highlight our partners at Ironside, a leading data and analytics consulting firm with two decades of applied experience.

Ironside is an excellent example of a DataRobot AI Partner, a select group of capable and committed consultants, resellers, and integrators that help companies accelerate their machine learning and AI initiatives.

Ironside has been helping clients use data to make better business decisions since 1999 by providing strategy, mentoring, design, and build services for data and analytics, and partnering with the top technology vendors in the industry to help ensure client success. They conduct end-user research to identify and prioritize business use cases. Then they help translate business goals and challenges into technology solutions that enable insightful analysis and data-driven decision making or automation.

 

How Ironside Uses DataRobot

A typical Ironside client is a mid-size to large enterprise or a semi-autonomous business unit, brand, or corporate function within a very large enterprise. Because great data scientists are in high demand and still very hard to come by, their clients usually do not yet have a data science function and are seeking to develop this capability internally. Ironside sometimes also works with teams that are a little further along on their journey and are looking to optimize how they do data science to produce better, faster results with fewer resources. The greatest challenge to data science success is often not being able to envision the result and subsequently not getting the executive backing you need to be successful.  

“For most of our clients, DataRobot is the difference between data science being possible or not. It makes these complex and abstract concepts approachable to virtually everyone in the organization.”  — Greg Bonnette, VP of Strategy & Innovation at Ironside  

They can demonstrate the platform to executives that would normally prefer to stay above that level of detail. Not only do the executives understand it, but they are able to take what they’ve just seen and immediately begin applying that pattern recognition-based approach to problem-solving to other areas of their business.   

Ironside’s client Cartus presents a rather interesting use case. Having moved over 2.3MM people for work, Cartus is the largest relocation management company (RMC) in the world by volume. This puts them in a particularly advantageous data position in their market and broadens their potential for machine learning applications. They’ve used DataRobot to help their corporate clients forecast volume (using time series) and to predict individual move time and expenses. They've even been able to determine when a relocating employee is at risk for exceeding the budget or experiencing a delay in the process. What makes this customer use case interesting and fun is that the industry is rather specialized with its own distinct set of business processes that benefit from decision optimization. Ironside doesn’t know if any other RMCs would be able to do what Cartus has done given their unique data advantage. Going forward, Cartus has big plans for using DataRobot to help them bring new products to market that could fundamentally transform their industry.

 

What’s Next for Ironside and DataRobot?

Ironside’s data science practice was one of the top performing areas of their business in 2018. They expect that trend to continue in 2019, attributing a good portion of that success to their relationship with DataRobot. Simply put, Ironside is a business problem-solving company, and DataRobot is an effective partner in that mission. Because of this partnership, clients who previously would not have even considered undertaking a machine learning application project are now putting models into production, changing the way they operate and seeing real results. They’re also doing so in a fraction of the time it takes “more mature” data science organizations that are still using traditional methods.

In early 2019, Ironside released their AI Jump-Start, an accelerator offering comprised of targeted consulting and a pre-integrated suite of tools that support the full data governance, management, and data science life cycle, with DataRobot being an integral link in that value chain. The platform is an answer to a recurring problem that they’ve observed in their clients who are new to data science or perhaps more used to doing traditional data warehousing and BI. Clients have sometimes struggled to implement a program and architect an environment that is optimized for machine learning and the high-speed agile iterations that are more germane to data science. Ironside seeks to remove this friction from the process and more rapidly create value with machine learning by simplifying this critical early phase of their journey. 

 

Conclusion

"...it was instantly apparent that we had a lot of common ground between our organizations. It truly was a combination of platform as well as the compatibility of our approach and people." — Greg Bonnette, VP of Strategy & Innovation at Ironside

 

We are excited to support Ironside’s efforts to lead their clients’ businesses into the future of work. Our shared goal of empowering users across a business to achieve value quickly and accurately from machine learning is what makes this partnership strong and successful.

 

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About the Author: 

Scott Bergquist is Senior Director of Business Development at DataRobot, where he is responsible for building and managing the growing community of DataRobot AI Partners. Prior to DataRobot, Scott managed and scaled large, global business development and sales teams at Cisco and IBM, and has spent his extensive career helping clients and partners transform their businesses with data and analytics.