Analysis is one of those things that people tend to do for themselves until the initial fervor recedes and it seems to be too much work. Then they put it off, or live without it because the benefits that come from insight are often ethereal and indirect. Evenutally the pain gets too strong or some unpleasant event happens and the urge for understanding is re-awakened.
Then they give it someone on the payroll most likely focused on something else or have their accountant do it. Now it’s an emergency in someone’s lap who’s got other priorities. Often this works, but but there are lots of times when a freelance analyst makes sense.
You get conflicting stories from two trusted sources. It might be that one side is right, or it might be that both have made invalid assumptions. Folks often accumulate baggage and blinders and constraints that live long after the circumstances that created them have expired.
The answer you’re looking for will cause or direct large change. Pricing tends to fall into this category. Here it’s useful to have a third party, neutral and not carrying insitutional baggage, developing the proposals. A profit is reviled in their own village.
The data involved lies in multiple systems owned by people who don’t own the problem. Every organization has cracks that things fall into. Many times they’re just not big enough to warrant a devoted resource.
You’re tackling an old problem that’s been examined before. Everyone has blind spots, and past attempts to solve problems tend to be breeding grounds for them.
You’ve got data, scads of it, and it must be worth something but what? Your gut tells you valuable stuff is in there, but there’s no established model for turning it into intelligence. This is where an outsider’s view can really shine, along with their wider set of tools and perspective.
You can find someone to help in a number of ways:
- Linkedin will give you a sense of their background, and endorsements provide some piece of mind.
- Elance and Guru.com give you ready access to a global population of freelancers, many at quite low prices, but language barriers and cultural differences can complicate things.
- Personal networking is fantastic when it works, and good place to start.