Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Analytics Platform Companies Like Scion Analytics & Visible Thread
The USA Buyers Guide
1. Is your company foreign owned?
When choosing an analytics platform, it is important for you to know where the business is based. Supporting a USA owned company helps the national economy and makes it easier to do business with the US government. This is because the US federal government may see a foreign owned company as posing a risk for classified government material. Another consideration is that selecting a foreign owned company may put the company at risk for losing US federal government business and the software at risk for being forcibly removed therefore disrupting business.
2. Has your solution been funded by foreign government?
Choosing an analytics platform funded by a foreign government increases risk. Before doing business with the US federal government, companies much like federal government contractors are subject to a background check. A business using a foreign funded analytics platform is less likely to receive federal government funding and clearance as it poses a risk for classified information.
3. Has the source code for your analytics platform ever been outsourced?
US code for a solution is more secure than source code that has been developed by outsourcing overseas. The presence of foreign code could create a risk for security threats and is more difficult to control. The outsourcing of code reduces the ability to secure data access to the software making it more vulnerable.
4. Is your data stored within a foreign country?
Data stored in US is protected by US laws and regulations that safeguard the data and the company. Foreign based data is more vulnerable to security threats, given instances where data was unknowingly shared or sold.
5. Is your pricing transparent?
Choosing an analytics platform should be a seamless process for you.
When choosing an analytics platform, transparency in pricing is a necessity. The philosophy behind transparency in sales is building trust. The pricing for an analytics platform should not be based on a nonpublic equation influenced by revenue. If faced with an obscure equation when shopping for an analytics platform, it is best for you to look for more transparent pricing, so you are not overcharged.
6. How customizable are your templates?
While some companies offer a generic solution for sale, the real value of a powerful analytics platform is in customization. A progressive company will work with you to develop a customized solution for your workflow and business needs.
An analytics platform that does not support templates is reliant on cutting and pasting. A method that can take a varied amount of time depending on complexity and volume; cutting and pasting is a practice of the past. While 100 pages might take you 2 days to cut and paste, the right analytics platform can automatically populate a template within a few minutes. Save time and stop missing requirements when you choose an analytics platform that outputs results directly into a template of your choice.
7. Does your analytics platform require the use of macros or coding?
When choosing an analytics platform, some outdated versions use macros and/or coding for customization. Using macros poses problems for government contracts as it makes the environment vulnerable to viruses and data leakage. In fact, many defense contractors do not allow macros and many proposal managers do not have the technical skills to manage macros. Macros are not an elegant solution for customization.
8. Does your analytics platform allow you to control data mapping?
When choosing an analytics platform, project managers, business development managers and proposal managers rely on the capability of mapping content to the associate roles to collaborate in a team environment.
An analytics platform should allow their users to create their own models that accurately map parsed content to roles and responsibilities that matters most to the business.
9. Does your analytics platform allow for users to set their own preferences?
An analytics platform should allow for their users to define their own preferences based on what is most important to them. The ability to adjust your user preferences gives you more flexibility and control over your results.
10. Can you create your own task flows within a few minutes without coding?
Does your analytics platform allow you to customize and create tasks and task flows? A task flow is a customizable task where you can define a series of actions to create a customizable artifact. An analytics platform empowers the end user to create their own task and task flows. A capability that enables users to be creative with the software to solve new and existing problems.