Data; Your Unfair Advantage

How can your business captilise on the latest technological advancement - data? Now is the time to find out!

Data is often touted as the new oil, and just like oil, when data is in its raw and unrefined state it has little value.

A Razor DATA sprint accelerates your journey and gives real tangible output and direction. Stop thinking about it and start taking action!

Microsoft Partner - Silver Application Development Gold Cloud Platform Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Introducing the Razor Data Sprint

The Razor Data Sprint turns ideas into action. It’s for people and organisations who are ready to break down the silos and unlock the potential, and power of their data. Whether you have an idea you want to make a reality, a strategy that needs refining, or just don’t know where to begin - we can help.

Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.

Peter Sondergaard

Technology last, human first is the key to all successful data and technological endeavours. This is no different with data projects. If the output is an alert for a human to take action, displays of data for insight and understanding or machine learning and AI to enhance what we do, the crucial aspect is the interface, whatever that is, with people.

Razor’s Data Sprint isn’t about replacing people, it is about enabling them. Our aim is to make people faster, better, more consistent, and to empower them to be superhuman.

What is it?

The Razor Data Sprint is a process which embraces uncertainty, overcomes it, and produces a tangible solution you can use, test, and iterate. The data you hold is the key to improved efficiency, greater prosperity and ultimately, survival as industries and economies adapt to new ways of working. We will accelerate your data roadmap, and help you stay ahead of the curve in a world where the gap between leaders and laggards is growing.

We start by understanding where you are and where you want to be. We do this by asking the obvious questions and challenging assumptions. Once we understand the situation, together we identify the biggest opportunity and build something tangible we can test in the real world. It could be a pipeline that intelligently extracts information currently locked in documents, an AI driven expert system that enhances decision making, or a computer vision application to identify defective components in a production line.

A meeting room at Razor HQ

The process provides clarity of the possible, the return on investment, and lets us look before leaping - but it emphasises the leap. When we take a leap with technology, we stand to gain in the long run and open ourselves to new opportunities. A leap doesn’t have to be huge, marginal gains right now can give a return for years, they set us on the right path and who knows where that could lead?

How do we do it?

We have a team of data and software experts who bring their broad knowledge and experience to help you move quickly. Not everything needs to be built from scratch. We stand on the shoulders of giants and leverage commoditised cloud technology to accelerate our delivery and learning.

We’re excited by innovation and strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology and consistently invest in R&D. This breadth and depth of knowledge runs throughout the company. It’s a critical resource we tap into when we encounter new challenges as we move quickly.

If you’re ready to take a step out of your comfort zone and ahead of your competition, spare some time to sprint with Razor and see what we can create together.

A black Sharpie marker pen.

Phase 0: Data Exploration

Before we delve into the solution, we need to get familiar with your data. What data do you have? Where is it stored? Is it fit for purpose?

You can’t start to build without first gathering the pieces. This data exploration seeks to identify your starting point and we’ll meet you where you are before you invest in a solution.

Activities & Outputs

  • Establishing the starting point by assessing your current data estate, challenges and ambitions with a pre-session questionnaire.

  • Open discussion with a data expert around your goals and concerns. What do you want your data to do for you? Have you experimented with your data before but not seen the returns? What challenges do you face that your data has the potential to solve?

  • Document the outcomes of the session in a proposal outlining your data journey and how we will help you achieve your goals.

The Razor Difference

  • We align everything we do with your business objectives and strategies to ensure that whatever we do is exactly what is needed.

  • We have the technical depth not only with data and AI but with the wider landscape of software engineering, user experience and integration ensuring that what is imagined can be realised.

  • We bring a fresh perspective and new thinking. We aren’t shackled by entropy.

Phase 1: Challenge

We start by asking the obvious but important questions; where, why, who and what?

To move forward we need to identify your business case. And then we need to challenge that business case to promote a new way of thinking.

Activities & Outputs

  • Observe the existing processes and ask obvious questions to challenge current thinking.

  • Experiment with modelling the flow of data to identify an opportunity. Where are the bottlenecks? Duplicated effort? Is the data being used to its potential? Is it being used at all?

  • Develop a maturity model for the data, strategy, frameworks, and skills. Where are we and where do we want to be?

  • Identify and understand the business challenges that your data has the potential to solve. What questions do we need to answer with the data?

  • Agree what success looks like and how it can be measured.

The Razor Difference

  • We bring an element of clarity and force deeper and challenging thinking.

  • We are on the cutting edge so you don’t have to be. We know what is ready and what is not.

  • We recognise the biases people carry with them and we challenge individuals to think differently about the business, their customers and themselves.

Phase 2: Select

With ideas challenged, thoughts collated and a whiteboard full of ideas, we’ll step back and review where we are. We’ll look at all of the ideas we’ve come up with and whittle them down to a viable business case to move forward with.

Together we will select the key challenge we want to tackle, that will show you the greatest return if resolved. We will also identify the data sources that are relevant to the project and assess whether they are viable to support the project aims.

Activities & Outputs

  • Identify the most valuable business challenge that we want to solve.

  • If we’re building a model, we’ll highlight the key variables that need to be analysed or predicted while defining the questions we want to answer. How many? Which category? Is this weird? What should we do?

  • Understand how the solution fits into the data flow of the wider business. Are there other sources of data we can make use of? What about externally?

  • Determine whether the data can answer the question posed. We’ll carry out an initial analysis of the data and start to lay the foundation of the architecture that will surround it.

The Razor Difference

  • If there is missing data, we will do something to start collecting it, be it sensors, extraction or something more straightforward and digital, we will make it happen.

  • We know how to cherry pick a challenge to tackle and how to extract it with a clear and complete plan based on insight.

  • Often a simple solution holds more value than a complex one. We bring balance by helping people think big whilst remaining realistic and pragmatic.

A Discovery in progress with one of our clients

Phase 3: Build

With the optimal business case chosen, our team will build, validate and optimise the solution. We’ll engineer, train and tune the data architectures and models, before evaluating them and selecting the best.

Our aim is to build a fast minimal viable product (MVP) so you can quickly assess the business impact. This is your first step to unlocking the power your data holds. We’ll show you the potential it has to transform your business.

When the solution is ready to go, we’ll sit down collectively and assess before moving on ahead. Does the model meet the required standard? Is it going to achieve our aims? Is there an alternative approach? Can we improve the data?

Activities & Outputs

  • Our team will create a tangible output that solves the problem identified in Phase 2.

  • Our data engineers will design and optimise an architecture which will enable us to turn data into insights, while complimenting the existing infrastructure.

  • Our data scientists will select the most appropriate model and features, before creating, tuning, training and evaluating the model against the criteria identified.

  • Assess the performance of the models that have been developed. Are they answering the question? What can we do to make them better?

The Razor Difference

  • We accelerate the build by leveraging our vast experience, and broad knowledge of the existing models, tools and frameworks within the Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem.

  • We strike a balance between planning and speed to give the team true agility. Data doesn’t always play nice and we have to be able to adjust as we discover more.

  • We keep an open mind during the process - it is possible that a slight deviation of direction can yield much better results. Leaving ego at the door we maintain openness to change and input.

Phase 4: Test and validate

With the prototype ready to go, we will deploy it into an operational environment and trial it with target users.

We will validate the performance of the solution against the agreed criteria and review how well the solution resolves the original problem. We’ll also provide methods of monitoring the performance through the use of dashboards, to easily demonstrate the results across the business.

At this stage, we can assess the outputs, gather feedback, present the findings and discuss the next steps you want to take to continue on your data journey.

Activities & Outputs

  • Deploy the solution in an operational environment and get people in the wider team using it. Is it meeting the requirements we set? Is it what was needed?

  • Think about how to scale the solution across the business. Can this solution be deployed for any of the other applications identified in the data flow model?

  • Use dashboards to monitor metrics so business experts can get real insight into how the solution is performing.

  • Define the next steps. Use what we’ve learned during the development to develop a strategic roadmap of the next steps.

The Razor Difference

  • We arm the business with information about the process and potential challenges. We know the pitfalls and help everyone be prepared.

  • We know how to capture and, critically, how to implement learnings. We have our eyes trained to spot the inefficiencies and opportunities for growth.

  • Our technical expertise means we can test the prototype with minimal disruption to existing systems whilst still generating real and usable leanings.

  • We know how to maintain the momentum created on the project, and we transfer this into positive action across multiple stakeholder groups.

Razor branded notepad and post-its.

The Razor Data Sprint is about gaining meaningful and actionable insights into your business that accelerates your efficiency, growth and survival in a constantly evolving landscape. We show you the potential data has to transform your ways of working by identifying and delivering a tangible answer to one of your business challenges.

Stepping into the minefield of data can feel overwhelming. We walk you through step-by-step to create a clear path to move forward. Once overcome, your data can empower your workforce and propel your business forward. Isn’t that a step worth taking?

Are you ready to take the first step? Let’s have a chat about your data roadmap and the potential it can unlock in your business today.

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

We offer three options for the Razor Sprint: basic, essential and premium. Basic provides you with the minimum to explore and prove a concept. Essential advances the process and provides you with confidence, security and documented output, along with a clear understanding of the investment needed to realise the innovation and commercial viability.

The premium option takes the validation stage further by integrating the prototype into the existing processes. This may be running it alongside the existing systems to see how it would perform, or processing legacy data with it. This step can be broad as it completely depends on what has been created.

Let’s get started

The Razor DATA Sprint can feel a little challenging at first but once the process gets started, the feeling soon changes into excitement, as the fog is lifted and there is clarity on the direction. That first little step in the right direction makes all the difference.

Are you ready to step ahead of your competition? Or are you going to wait until you’re forced to play catch-up?

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

Peter Drucker
What we do
What else do we do?

From web applications, to bots, machine learning and computer vision. There is a lot we can do, what can we do for you?

Houses drawn on post-its
User Experience & Design thinking

We take the importance of people using technology seriously. User Experience & Design thinking play a vital role in how we understand and design new software.

Houses drawn on post-its
Discovery - Gaining clarity on where you are going

Not knowing where you are going can be disastrous for any business or project. Our unique Discovery process lifts the fog and provides the clarity needed.