Building an AI team is hard. Hiring an outside team to develop your AI solution is often best.
However, the shortcomings of machine learning consultation firms are also well known. They are notorious for making things more complicated than necessary. You may struggle to meet deadlines or stick to budgets. It simply fails to deliver on the promise of a functioning ML solution, according to a report global machine learning market valued at USD 8 billion in 2021. Another study says that it is expected to grow from $21.17 billion in 2022 to $209.91 billion in 2029.
It is difficult to tell the difference between a top-notch consulting firm and a start-up. This guide will help you find consultancies worth working with.
9 Things to Consider In a Machine Learning Consultation
- They Facilitate Machine Learning
A machine learning consultant should be able to explain how machine learning works in a language that you and your team can understand.
When we use AI today, we mostly need to build systems that can take data and turn it into predictions.
- They Are Fast
An AI consulting firm that has worked on enough projects will tell you if your idea is working in minutes, not days or weeks.
In 90% of cases, experienced agents say “yes, this could work” or a confident “no” within about 15 minutes after explaining the problem, goals, and available data. ” can be answered.
You may not get meaningful results at this point, but they should give your ideas worth pursuing. You should create a proof of concept to ensure that what you are trying to predict can actually be accurately predicted from your data. This will take no more than eight weeks.
- Right Consultants Are Not Afraid To Say “No” To You.
Would a machine learning consultancy be willing to work on the ideas you provided?
Or do they lead you to the best solution, even if it’s not what you expected?
Many machine learning ideas are not good ideas upon closer inspection. If you also don’t have the right data, or even the experts don’t have a clear path to a solution, they can tell you.
Likewise, not all projects require AI. Regularly clients come to us for machine learning when a simpler system is likely to give 90% of the results. In these and other cases, we recommend not using machine learning and pointing you in the right direction to do it yourself or using a standard software development consultant.
- They Are Transparent About Their Experiences
Don’t let AI consultancies hide behind non-disclosure agreements. Privacy should be their top priority in the world of data science, but any reputable AI company should showcase specific projects and give permission to talk about real names and numbers.
They have an NDA with every client, but they can tell you who they worked with, what problems they solved, and what the impact was.
These cases should be accompanied by the name and contact details of the project manager of the company they worked with.
Choose an AI agency you trust that has strong credentials and provides insight into the specific projects they’ve created, how they approached those projects, and what results they achieved. Be sure to check if these projects are research projects, POC projects, or actually deployed for use in the customer’s daily work.
- They Ask the Right Question
Did you leave the meeting feeling all the right questions were asked? Did they ask follow-up questions and probe until they got to the heart of your issue?
To successfully execute a project, an AI consulting firm needs to learn as much as possible about your company and its field. What’s important to you, vocabulary, what the data looks like, and why what you’re trying to predict is important for you.
They should be able to repeat your goals in a way that sounds right to you.
During the course of a machine learning project, the consulting team makes key decisions that determine the outcome of the project. They also bring ideas and make suggestions for improvements. You can only do these things effectively if they truly understand your business and your goals.
Their advice should focus more on understanding your problem than on pitching their services to you.
Small initial misunderstandings can lead to costly and hard-to-correct mistakes later.
- They Are Generous With Their Knowledge
Machine learning consulting firms need to be open about everything: the effort required, the technology they use, and the techniques they use to get there.
During the initial discussion with a potential customer, provide specific feedback. Assess if they have the right data and outline a roadmap from the idea to the final solution. This includes the algorithms, setups, and budgets required to get there.
We all know that we use convolutional neural nets for automated radiology exams and that hybrid recommenders are great for recommending content from frequently updated libraries (such as Netflix and news sites). The real value of consultants is not in their ideas but in elegantly solving the hundreds of small problems they inevitably encounter.
- They Are Serious About the “Process”
“We do what we need to do” is not enough. Ambition should always be backed up by experience.
Experienced ML or AI consulting firms have sophisticated and proven processes for many projects. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that the project will be completed on time and within the budget originally planned.
- They Have a Technical Project Manager
Machine learning projects are different from standard software projects, requiring a project manager (PM) with both communication skills and technical know-how to keep an ML project on schedule.
Machine learning projects cannot separate the project management role from the engineering manager role. The selection and combination of data directly affect whether a solution will produce the desired results.
For this reason, one of the routine speakers must be the same person who writes tasks for the engineering team. The person should also have the communication skills to provide understandable progress reports.
- They Help Make Your Team Better
A good consulting firm keeps you informed and helps your team grow.
Most of the time, project managers and engineers want to learn as much as possible from their projects. So choose a consulting firm that works openly with your team rather than developing solutions in isolation.
Consulting firms should clearly document requirements in advance of a project, push code to accessible code repositories regularly, and update it regularly so the team can learn, ask questions, and upgrade as needed and should be able to fix it.
Find a machine learning consulting firm that is 100% transparent about their experience, skills, and processes. They should speak your language, ask you lots of questions, and tell you what they are going to do in a way that makes sense to you.
Don’t let AI terminology hide you. If you don’t understand how something works, keep asking questions until you do. And if they can’t tell you directly, find another consulting firm that can. If you are looking for the online digital tech solutions company services at reasonable prices, get in touch with Sky Potentials.