Running head: PROJECT INTRODUCTION
PROJECT INTRODUCTION 7
Project Deliverable 1: Project Plan Inception
Section 1: Project Introduction
Introduction and Background
Cadre Data Services (CDS) is a company that is the involved in the business of data collection and analysis. The company was created to offer businesses the power to put their data into deriving value for them. The analyzed data is then used by business leaders to make important decisions regarding their organizations. Businesses are increasingly finding themselves generating a huge amount of data and CDS has emerged as one of those with solutions that can help businesses deal with this. As businesses accumulated data, it was increasingly difficult for them to effectively manage the data given their lack of or insufficient expertise in the area. This meant they were stuck with huge data they didn’t understand. But considering the place of data in today’s economy it was important to find ways to decipher it. CDS comes in and makes the process much easier and manageable as they provided there deep knowledge on the field. Their clients would then only have to focus on their core competencies. (Furr, & Dyer, 2014).
CDS has grown to a $25 million company in under two years of the operations. It currently has twenty employees. With this fast growth, the company has outpaced its current operations and premises. It is therefore wishing to move to newer premises as well as more importantly develop a more comprehensive information technology infrastructure as it seeks to leverage more of the data it collects. With a 60% growth target over the next eighteen months, this will be of absolute importance to ensure the technology put in place can ensure those goals are met.
Type of Business Activities
The types of business activities carried out by CDS include the use of operation systems and web analytics in the collection of data. The company then analyzes the data with tools it has at its disposal and provides its clients with the resultant business intelligence. The company has diversified the industries it handles data for to increase its reach. This has provided it with the opportunity to reach as many clients and potential customers as well. Clients can contract CDS with collecting and analyzing data for them. CDS also collects data from a number of sources for purposes of conducting their own analyses that are then sold to organizations separately. This could be industry information, trends and so forth.
When done efficiently, data collection and analysis can prove to be a boon for businesses. With CDS, they get to have a more concrete understanding of the operations from the past, its current state as well as the potential future that could be gleaned from the data that has been collected and analyzed. The analysis will provide predictions that the business leaders can use to plan for the future. While the decision making is left to the clients themselves, they have come to rely on and trust the insights provided by CDS from analyzing data.
Therefore, CDS provides a wide range of data services that will fit a business’ need. Whether it is the collection of its data, analysis or even both, they can depend on CDS to carry those tasks as efficiently as possible. Should they instead need data that has already been analyzed and they have no access to, they can still depend on CDS to provide it. (Furr, & Dyer, 2014).
Outsourcing and Offshoring Activities
Outsourcing has provided CDS with the opportunity to take advantage of solutions that will lead to lower business costs. The company for purposes of promoting efficiency, streamlining operations and focusing on it strengths decided to outsource their customer service, and auditing services to qualified organizations offering them at a lower cost. CDS has managed to grow in its two years of operations by embracing this solution that leaves it really concentrate on providing their clients with the very best solutions in data collection and analysis. without having to dedicate resources to those areas that while necessary are still not central to its core strengths as an organization CDS has managed to accrue enormous benefits. The companies providing the outsourcing services are experts in the given fields with the activities being their core operations. This enables to offer the services more competitively and with the quality required by CDS. The outsourcing company also gets to handle any and all issues that might arise from those functions without having to involve CDS. In its capacity as a data collection and analysis company, CDS also provides its clients with outsourcing for their data collection and analysis needs. Offshoring is a function that CDS offers foreign clients. This has been the result of the company expanding its operations to include a wider customer base. Given its expertise in the field, CDS can provide the services more efficiently and at a lower cost. (Pereira, Munjal, & Ishizaka, 2018).
Information System Personnel
Out of twenty employees, four of them work for the IT department. The department is headed by a manager who is the chief information officer for the entire company. They are responsible for developing an overall strategy for the department and inform the management of the company on these plans. They are also responsible for supervising those under them into carrying out tasks put forth by the management. there is a database manager whose role is the development and management of the company’s collection of data in the database and ensuring that is easily accessible whenever it is needed. There is a data manager whose responsibilities are developing and sourcing technologies that will help in furthering and optimizing the company’s data collection and analysis activities. An information security manager is responsible for ensuring the security of the company’s information technology infrastructure as well the data for its clients. The four employees are also responding for further tasks like network administration and information technology support for the other employees. (Lane, 2014).
Types of Data Collected
Given the wide range of its client base, CDS collects different types of data. These include internal from companies including sales data, customer data, traffic to websites, usage statistics of mobile apps, engagement on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and more wider-ranging data like labor numbers, and long term trends. CDS gets to collect the data either for the client within that client’s own systems or can collect other data on its own. (Lane, 2014).
Current Information Systems
CDS uses operational systems for purposes of data processing. While these systems have been able to function well for the company, they might not be the best options moving forward. Operational systems are fragmented from each other. Each of them operates within their own siloed environment away from the others. Any changes and upgrades made to one of them are done without regard for integration with the others. This has made it difficult for the company to effectively carry out cross departmental sharing and collaboration. To solve this problem, the solution being eyed will be the adoption of a data warehousing concept that will bring these disparate operational systems together. This will make the database more efficient with improved data processing as well as other functions like online querying. (Lane, 2014).
The company uses predictive analytics to analyze the data it collects. The techniques that have been put in place to facilitate this include statistics, data mining, and modeling to better and accurately predict future events from current data for their clients. The company is considering adopting more advanced techniques to further develop their analytic capabilities. These include artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will reduce the need for human intervention as they should automate a large chunk of the process while operating independently. The company interfaces with its systems are in need of an upgrade given that they are not intuitive and therefore take a long time for new employees to fully comprehend. (Lane, 2014).
The current network infrastructure for CDS includes computer terminals and a small data center set up at the company current premises that it seeks to move out from. Within this building is also a LAN network used to provide connection services. Information security has been implemented with measures including logical and physical. There are firewalls and anti-virus software as well as access control for employee access to the system. the premises are also protected with a CCTV network and employees use their keycards to access the premises. (Lane, 2014).
With the above project, CDS should be able to attain its goal of 60% growth over the next eighteen months quite easily. This will require a team of individuals with the appropriate experience and expertise in the fields represented. A qualified project manager should coordinate and supervise the project successfully.
Furr, N. R., & Dyer, J. (2014). The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Startup Into Your Organization. Harvard Business Press.
Lane, D. (2014). The Chief Information Officer’s Body of Knowledge. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Pereira, V., Munjal, S., & Ishizaka, A. (2018). Outsourcing and offshoring decision making and its implications for the firm. Journal of Business Research.