We know small business analytics. It's all we do.

You are constantly searching.  Searching for a new program or tool or system to help you run your business.  It’s frustrating.  You feel like you’re trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.  Anyone that’s tried to monitor their inventory with QuickBooks knows exactly what I’m talking about. 

You have data everywhere.   Sales, inventory, customer demographics, student history, patient history, insurance claims, website traffic.  It’s all data.  You know you should be doing something with it, but you don’t know where to start.  Maybe you’ve tried.  Without a solid game plan it’s easy to feel like you’re throwing good money after bad.  That’s where we come in.  We know data.  We know how to make it work for you.  We care about your data so you don’t have to.  

Think of us as your on demand analytics experts.  For a fraction of the time and expense of a full time data pro, we can help you establish a solid foundation of data.  We help you create the reporting and analytics that drive your business forward.

What we do

We are data wranglers.  We fix dirty data.  We build charts, graphs and dashboards that turn data into information and information into insight.  We are experts in the design of databases to support analytics, and we’ve done entire projects in Excel, Microsoft Access and Tableau.  We work with the tools that make sense for you and your business.  

At the end of the day, everything we do can be boiled down to three key things.  

  • We move data (bring data together from all around your business).  
  • We store data (we help you pick the right data storage option for your business and we fill it with your data) and 
  • We share data (we create simple, intuitive, interactive data visualizations).  
We do what we do to accomplish one goal  –  We solve problems with data. 

Problems we solve

This is probably the most common complaint we hear.  Everyone has old reports, often developed by people that aren’t around anymore.  No one knows how to update them.  No one dares change them and risk breaking them.

We fix this problem by tracing the data back to it’s source.  We document each step the data takes from source to report.  Finally we help you decide if the tools you have been using still make sense or if it’s time to modernize and simplify.  

Reporting and analytics have come a long way in the last ten years.  It’s not unusual to get significant improvements by simply updating our reporting tools and how we organize the data.

This is a common problem.  It is caused by reports that stand alone.  The data sources for these reports are completely independent from each other.  You can’t share data between these reports because they simply weren’t setup to share data with each other.  You need an process that brings information together from all around your business and stores that it in a way that makes sense.  Staging and organizing data is key to creating effective reports.  We do this all the time.

This is another common complaint.  This happens when you rely on a library of reports that someone else designed for you.  Those reports answer the questions you knew at the time they were created.  

Analytics has a funny way of bubbling up new questions, questions we didn’t know we should be asking until we see something unexpected in the data.  We want to make you self sufficient with your data.  We want to show you how to move past a reliance on canned reports and into the world of interactive analytics.  The good news is there are a lot of great tools now that make that make that kind of experience easy.

Customer surveys can provide a wealth of valuable data, but often that data is in a format that is difficult to interpret (to put it mildly).  We have a lot of experience in reshaping that data and presenting it in more intuitive formats.  We can show you trends, patterns, even simple sentiment analysis (what is the general sentiment of this comment field overall?).  We can show you how to find and tell the stories buried in your surveys.

Dirty data kills credibility.  Sooner or later, every data source gets dirty.  Mistakes happen.  Data sources change.  The way to minimize this risk is to test your data frequently.  We can help you setup a suite of data validation tests that can be run every time you update your data.  Data validations find dirty data before it gets into your reports.  Would you rather get an alert email from your data validation process highlighting a problem in the morning or an email from your boss in the afternoon telling you a report is broken?

You have a team in place.  They’re getting the job done.  Sometimes all you need is a little help.  When you need to phone a friend, who will you call?  Call us.  We have done this work for a long time.  We’ve broken through a lot of roadblocks, we’ve seen some really creative solutions.  If we can’t answer a question it’s a pretty good bet we know who can.  

New data is the lifeblood of analytics.  We have a lot of experience in helping our customers validate and integrate new data.  We automate the import of your data, audit the new data for accuracy, and log the entire process so we can make sure there are no surprises.  Once the data is safely in your systems we can help you bring it into your reports and dashboards to give you new insights into your business.

Excel is the most popular database in the world.  The problem is, it’s also a great way to create huge problems.  Formulas that refer to formulas on different worksheets that in turn refer to other formulas.  We call this Excel Hell.  We have a lot of experience in untangling a mess like that.  We chase down what every formula is actually doing and document every part of every spreadsheet.  Then we take that roadmap and move your analytics into a tool better suited for reports and dashboards.   It’s time to move your analytics into a tool built for exploring data.  

We have a soft spot for Microsoft Access.  It is a great tool for rapid prototyping.  You can capture data with custom forms, apply business logic and display your data with custom reports.  The problem is that many systems created in Microsoft Access should have migrated to more robust tools years (or even decades) ago.  Microsoft Access just isn’t a good long term tool.  It isn’t suited to high volumes of data.  It doesn’t work as well when multiple users try to work in it at once.  It is prone to crashing and database corruption.  If you still rely on one or more Access databases it’s time for a change.  We have deep experience in building and supporting these databases.  We are the ideal partner to help you migrate away from them.

We hear this all the time.  Trust me, we get it.  Our model is simple.  We build the platform and show you how to build the analytics.  This reduces your dependence on us.  

One powerful incentive to building your own reports and dashboards is the unexpected insights that come up naturally as part of the design process.  In the hands of a consultant, a request for a dashboard results in the creation of a dashboard.  In the hands of your business, the process of exploring the data to build a dashboard might inspire new,  altogether unexpected questions.  That’s where the magic happens.  One question brings you to others.  Sometimes those new questions bring unexpected insights.  Unexpected insights are like rocket fuel for business.

Let us set you up for success and then let your people create something amazing.  

Questions we can help you answer

Data without analysis is a wasted asset. Analytics without action is wasted effort.

- Donald Farmer

Testimonials

Brindle Solutions in Print

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We wrote the book on data prep

The value of data prep in any analytics project simply cannot be overstated.  Our book walks you through everything you need to know to get it right.

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In depth interviews with more than two dozen data professionals share a picture of what it’s like to work with, manage, and analyze data.  If you want to take your career in data to the next level you will find guides and mentors in these pages.

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Tim Costello

Founder / Data Architect
Brindle Solutions

Are you ready to get real with your data?

I love data.  There’s just no hiding it.  If you talk to me for five minutes you’ll walk away knowing that in my bones, I’m a data guy.  It drives me.

I started Brindle Data to help small businesses get control of their data.  We keep it simple.  We build a solid foundation of data and then teach you how to use it.  Our long term goal is to work ourselves out of a job.  When we succeed, you will no longer need us.

If you’re ready to learn more click on the orange email icon below to send me an email, or even better, click on the blue calendar icon to schedule a call.  Let’s talk about where you are with data and where you would like to be.  

Let’s do this!

Tim Costello