1Spatial Principal Consultant Mark Farrington on 1Spatial’s approach to consultancy
People sometimes ask “Why 1Spatial? What makes 1Spatial consultancy different from the rest?”
I believe it’s our approach that makes us unique. In every engagement, we take:
- A listening approach
- A positive, rules-based approach
- An agile approach
A listening approach
There is no point in shoe-horning an organisation’s problems into an off-the-shelf solution. We listen first, seeking to understand the underlying problem and asking, “What’s really required, here?”
We listen to everyone, from senior management and data owners, to those on the ground, the data-users who rely on data quality to be safe and effective in their jobs.
Often, we begin an engagement with a workshop that brings together the owners and users of an organisation’s data. We spend time with users understanding their workflows and their reliance on good, current data.
Investing time in listening ensures that the solution we develop is fit-for-purpose and not expensively over-engineered.
Define what’s right, don’t fix what’s wrong
There are many ways in which data can be wrong, but only one way it can be right. Too many solutions seek first to list every instance of “wrong”. But, when a new kind of wrong comes along, it gets missed.
1Spatial’s rules-based technology uses positive rules that define the “right” in any situation. That makes it far simpler to fix and provides a more robust and future-proof solution.
That same approach underpins our consulting. We work with clients to develop a deep understanding of what’s required in given situation – effectively, what does “right” look like? From there, we can build a solution that cost-effectively addresses the issues in question.
Fixing what’s wrong can be a never-ending task. Defining what’s right, then writing rules to test and fix that, is a more powerful and cost-effective approach.
An agile approach
We take the agile / scrum software development model and apply it to data consulting scenarios.
A joint team of 1Spatial consultants and customer experts works in regular, two-week sprints to address a prioritised “backlog” of tasks. At the end of each sprint, the results are presented for review. Through the review, we learn from our experiences and agree actions to make sure we continuously improve for the next iteration.
This “fail early, fail fast” model produces rapid feedback and quickly builds customer trust and confidence. It produces quick wins, avoids wasted time and, especially in a complex matrix of stakeholders, is a powerful way of ensuring all objectives are met.
Our consulting relationships often date back over many years, during which time we have developed trusted partnerships with many leading organisations in both the private and public sectors.
That’s something that we are incredibly proud of and I believe it’s a direct result of an approach that prioritises achieving the best result for the customer, whatever the situation.
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