When Hiring Your Database Consultant

What Questions Should You Ask?

Many clients who contact us know they need a database – but what is the next step?

  • How do you vet the company you’re thinking of hiring?
  • What do you ask the programmer?

Creating a database can feel like trying to ask the mechanic to look at the noise in your car.

  • Am I being ripped off?
  • Does this guy know what he is doing?

Here is some insider information from JN Software Consulting that we give our clients when they contact us about our database services.

Ask these questions when getting database quotes:

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1. How long have they been in business?
a. Someone new may be cheaper but make sure they have the experience to design, implement and support a database.
b. If they were not around 3 years ago, are you sure they will be here 3 years from now to update your database as your business changes?
2. Who will you be dealing with at the company?
a. Have your interactions up to this point been only with their sales department?
b. Is it a one-man show; do you only deal with the programmer directly?
c. Do they have enough business experience to help you translate your business processes into a system that works for you or offer insightful suggestions on how best to organize your data?
bag of money3. How much time did they spend with you learning about your business and needs before giving you a quote?
a. Are you confident that they have not under- or over-quoted?
b. Under-quoting sounds good for you but the last thing you want is an angry programmer rushing to finish off a project without being paid any more.
c. Over-quoting is often a function of not spending enough time learning about your needs, so they had to pad their quote to try to cover themselves.

4. What is their development process like?
a. What is the company’s policy for making minor adjustments/tweaks throughout the creation process?
b. At what point during the process do you get to see some sort of product you can play with, look at, test and give feedback on?
5. What kind of support options do they offer?
a. If it isn’t listed, make sure you ask. What if something in your business process slightly changes and you need to update something? What if something on your IT side changes and you need to make an update? What if only months or years after deployment you realize a rare or annual process has a bug in it?
6. How easy is it to make modifications after deployment?
a. Will it take them weeks to deploy changes you want?
b. Is the database in some kind of locked state or a proprietary format that only they can modify (trapping you into working with them forever)?
c. Will you own all the rights to the database? Or do they insist on maintaining a copyright on it even though you paid them good money for their work?

 

Click here for more information on our database services.

Speak to one of our Consultants at (416) 264-6247 or info@jnsoftware.ca for your free database assessment to get your database plans started, and to take your business to the next level.

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