machine learning consulting
Machine Learning

Machine learning consulting: Guide to hiring an ml developer

By
Bitstrapped
Updated
November 15, 2021

A guide to machine learning consulting

If you are interested in machine learning consulting and the companies that provide it, then this guide will be helpful to you.

You likely already understand the power of machine learning (ML) and how it is used in an enterprise to develop advanced applications that use artificial learning to solve business problems. However, you'll also likely know that it is a complex area of computer science and finding expert guidance is necessary to be successful.

Once you know you need a machine learning consultant, the next step is to find an ML development agency you can trust and work with to develop the machine learning solutions your company needs.

This article will help you find the right ML consulting agency to work with so your company can leverage its expertise to help educate, benefit, and streamline your strategy as you bootstrap your company's ML projects. Here is how to choose the right experts for the job.

What is machine learning consulting?

Machine learning consultants develop ML applications (software) to achieve tasks that would be otherwise difficult or slow for humans to complete.  

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that learns progressively and adjusts as it consumes large volumes of data. ML applications use algorithms and statistics to find patterns in data and apply those patterns to other processes.

An ML consultant is necessary because the field has been relatively new in the last decade, and hiring in-house full-time ML developers can be expensive. So signing an ML agency to help with your projects is a much better use of resources.

Value of machine learning consulting in the workplace

The benefits of machine learning depend on the business, but its role is to help encourage success and improve results for your business. It can save time on tedious tasks, improve marketing, increase revenue, and more. However, machine learning can be complicated to understand and apply without knowledge in the field. Machine learning consultants are there to help bridge the gap.

Consultants have expertise in the field and how to utilize it in a variety of settings. One of the main benefits of this knowledge is that it can help your business save time and resources.

Machine learning can be challenging to implement, especially without prior AI training or experience with the technology. So set aside time to have your consultant help to train employees. Be sure to use that training internally to develop an effective machine learning strategy. A machine learning consultant can help streamline this process, saving both time and money.

Additionally, consultants typically have access to programs that they can bring to your company or have a list of programs they think your business would benefit the most from using. This can also help save money because you are not relying on trial and error to find the best programs to use, and the programs are coming to you. Essentially, machine learning consultants are there to help get you desired results as easily, quickly, and cheaply as possible.

Start with a discovery call

In evaluating your machine learning needs, determine what type of ML consultant you will need. Start with the problem you would like to solve and bring it to a candidate ML consultant to see if there is a fit.

ML companies like Bistrapped offer a free discovery call to help you evaluate the project and see if they are a fit to deliver the ML solution you are seeking.

This critical phase of your machine learning strategy helps you determine if you will achieve the desired results you are seeking. Good machine learning consultants can focus on the big picture and deliver on the details of a project. They identify areas and strategies that can make a difference and that can optimize an outcome. A good consultant will ask you the right questions to determine what path will best achieve your goals.

Qualities to look for in an ML consultant

 Here are some qualities a good machine learning consultant will possess:

  • Diversified set of skills. ML consultants must have more than just machine learning knowledge. They must also have critical thinking, interpersonal skills, problem-solving capabilities, programming knowledge, imagination, good customer service skills, and more.They must know how to create a machine learning strategy and have the skills to implement it in various workplaces.
  • Willingness to teach and learn. Machine learning can be a complicated subject, so good consultants will explain the data and strategies in ways that you and your employees can understand.Additionally, they must also be constantly on the cutting edge of machine learning strategies and technologies.    
  • Good time management. In many cases, consultants should provide you with a rough time frame to achieve your goals and an idea of what is and is not possible with a targeted application. They may not be able to give you an exact day of completion as projects are dynamic, but they should not keep you waiting for days or weeks for answers.
  • Transparency. Consultants must be transparent about all aspects of their work. This includes expertise, work experience, cost, strategies, needs, and more. They must also be willing to say no. Not every business will benefit from machine learning; therefore, consultants should be honest with customers when this is the case and offer alternative solutions to their problems when possible.
  • Willingness to work with/for a team. Machine learning consulting should not be a one-person job. A good consultant will give your business the know-how about their work and help the team grow. They should also be willing to work with or alongside other workers such as project managers to help maximize results.
  • Project management: It will become apparent in your discovery call if the ML agency you are interviewing has premier project management skills. A high competency in project management is going to make or break yourML project and its outcomes.

Tips for picking the right ML agency

 Many ML development agencies bring different skills and capabilities to the table, so it can be a challenge to know which one is the best fit for your company. Here are somethings to consider when narrowing down your search:  

  • Research and interview. Before committing to one company, it is a good idea to consult with many. Some consultants may have more experience, while others may have less experience but more experience in your business field. It is best to interview, check out portfolios and past work, and compare what they offer. This will help determine which would be the best fit for you.
  • Check reviews and testimonials. This is an excellent way to check for quality and reputation. If there are a lot of positive reviews, this could mean their work is high quality. A large number of reviews can also show that they are a reputable organization. Ask for references or check out testimonials in your evaluation process.
  • Budget.Budget can be a determining factor for many organizations. An invoice from a machine learning consultant can be sizable, so be sure to establish a budget  and understand what you are paying for and what may result in overages. It is a good idea to research pricing beforehand to set a reasonable budget to follow.
  • Software. Machine learning relies heavily on computer programming and software. Therefore, you should be sure that consultants have up-to-date and top-of-the-line software to best help your company.

Hire Bitstrapped for your machine learning consulting needs

At Bitstrapped, we pride ourselves in our ability to evaluate projects and deliver the best ML solutions that your company is seeking. Be sure to book a discovery call today so we can help you refine a project specification and get the project scheduled and ultimately delivered. Click here to contact us.

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