Acorn Analytics is capable of taking on the most challenging assignments when it comes to custom software projects. Realistically, no two of our clients have the exact same needs.
While each client we partner with is unique in its own way, there are some themes that have emerged. The following is intended to give you a taste of the types of problems that we can solve for you, and our philosophy behind how we approach them.
This is an example of a common system architecture for Acorn clients. Not all projects need Acorn to help with data engineering, but what’s noteworthy is our point of view: all data should copied into a central, secure repository, referred to here as a data lake, and processes for cleaning, organizing and documenting are also centralized for easier management—at least to whatever extent this is allowed by the organization’s policies.
It is tempting for an organization to only pull data for a single purpose directly from whatever tool they are using. The problem is that those systems change as new fields are added or repurposed, and sometimes one application is replaced by another and data may be lost. By having a single source of truth, we not only have a backup copy, but an opportunity to compare data over time and across functional departments, regardless of how applications have been adopted or modified over that timeframe.
A key activity Acorn typically performs during the Diagnose phase is to identify where the team or organization’s capabilities are along this continuum, in the context of solving the most pressing business problems. It’s normal for an individual or group of individuals to what to operate farther to the right than they can do without support of a data expert team like Acorn.
We endeavor to meet you where you are at and help you move up and to the right to the next level of maturity and value.
Wherever our clients are, we help them grow.
Acorn first helps define the right measurements (and external data sources) that make the most sense for your current growth stage and business goals. Next we help to verify your most trustworthy key performance indicators and how to use them to align the team to pull in the same direction.
We iterate in collaboration with your team to finalize a measurement approach that will be maximally effective for aligning with your business objectives.
Acorn can also support your team using the data visualization tools of your choice, whether that’s Tableau, Looker, ChatGPT or a custom application.
The chart below is inspired by a real client but the numbers have been changed and dummy data was used instead. This company shows 195% year-over-year increase in total sales (after discounts/refunds) in 2021 compared to the prior year. Acorn’s calculations indicated that the client’s self-funded growth (SFG) rate is merely 24% for that same period, and any growth above 24% will necessitate an external source of capital.
With relatively inexpensive but impactful changes using math and technology, Acorn presented a solution that helped the client to increase this company’s self-funded growth rate—the rate that the company could grow without requiring additional outside financing—from its current 24% to 224% per year.
Virtually every department and function can be improved with using data to better predict and forecast future risks and opportunities and use that information to make better real-time decisions.
For example, Acorn can help you identify which externally available macroeconomic trends are trustworthy leading indicators of future demand, regardless of seasonality or lack of “statistical significance” of your data. Accurate demand forecasting can help your business avoid stockouts and overstocking, plan your production schedules more efficiently, and improve pricing strategy, growth prospects, and gain market share.
Our philosophy is that virtually very data point every captured includes both a time and a space component—a where, and a when. The chart below shows an example of the type of initial analysis to understand where geographically a company's customers are located, and depending on the analysis may include where they were when they first clicked on an advertisement, where they want their product shipped to, and where their billing information is located. These all suggest different action items that can be taken to increase ROI and growth.