In an era of automation and digitization, choosing a good machine learning consultant or a machine consulting firm is hard. Although most Machine Learning Consultants are transparent about their experience, skillet, and process, it is difficult to fall into the trap of believing one person can do it all.
The reality is that in order to successfully build an ML solution. Incorporate it in your organization you need a whole team consisting of a data scientist, a data engineer, backend and frontend developer, and often a Divots specialist. When deciding to start your journey with artificial intelligence or machine learning it is therefore important to choose a machine learning consulting firm. They have access broad spectrum of skills and vast experience building similar ML solutions in the past.
Good ML consultants will also give you an opportunity to learn, and a knowledge transfer becomes one of the key benefits of getting a consultant on board.
Here are the top 6 things to look out for when choosing an ML consultant or a consulting firm.
1. They make machine learning simply
Your machine learning consultant should explain how machine learning works in an easy-to-understand language. So-called ‘black box’ solutions often feature in the language of wannabe experts, and it is easy to recognize an actual artificial intelligence specialist by the fact that they are able to explain the mathematical formulas that form the basis of machine learning systems they build.
2. They are quick to make a judgment call
An experienced Machine Learning Consultant or firm can instantly tell you whether an idea is promising or needs to be debunked. In around 90 % of cases, an experienced data scientist can give an emphatic YES or a clear NO as to the solution feasibility within 15 minutes of you explaining the problem, goal, and available data. Though they can’t guarantee you’ll get meaningful results, they are able to tell you whether an idea is worth pursuing or not.
3. They aren’t afraid to say ‘NO’
Not every idea is worth pursuing, and it is important to look at the time and effort. Also, the investment required to build a solution versus the expected outcome. Often clients build extremely complex machine learning solutions, where a simple statistical analysis is likely to obtain 90% of the desired result. A good Machine Learning Consulting firm is able to detect such low-hanging fruit. Point the client in the right direction to maximize the value for money of a new ML solution.
4. They are honest and transparent
Privacy is a reverent virtue of data science. However, a respected Machine Learning Consulting firm or Consultant should still have permission to point you to some specific projects and talk about real names and numbers. Choose a trusted Machine Learning Consulting firm or consultant to provide an honest insight into specific projects and the results accomplished.
5. They are keen to ask the right questions
Asking the right questions up front is key to get to the heart of your problem and build an ML solution that is perfectly suited to address your challenge. Even small miscommunication can be expensive and hard to fix. Thus, ML consultants will often repeat your goals back to you until it is clear that they are perfectly aligned with your goals and business objectives.
6. They have a technical project manager
A good machine consultancy keeps the team united and further builds its capacity. So pick a consultancy that will work openly with your team rather than in isolation. Over time, the consultancy you work with should become a trusted partner rather than a supplier of machine learning technologies.
When it comes to picking your technology partners it is important to get it right from the start. If you manage to pick the right machine learning consultancy upfront. Then, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress further down the line. So take your time, use the above guide to do a thorough comparison. Select a consultancy that will become a long-term partner for you and your business.