Four arrows form a circle to show the acorn proven process as a cycle made of four stages: discover, design, develop, and deploy.

The Acorn Proven Process

Agile Software Development Processes applied to Data Engineering and AI Projects

Software development projects, especially data-intensive ones like machine learning, suffer from a high level of uncertainty as requirements and priorities tend to change frequently as more information becomes available. For this reason the field has adopted a collection of approaches known as Agile software development methodologies as an industry best practice.

Through several years of trial and error, Acorn has developed its own approach to Agile methodologies for the specialty that is AI and data engineering.

Roles for our Agile Data Team

Acorn works with clients in iterative cycles, with individual cycles referred to as a “Sprint” or “Sprint Cycle.” Part of our onboarding process is to establish who will play what role in the partnership's success. Typical roles include:

  • Product Owner. Our clients typically assign an individual who will be responsible for identifying and prioritizing work to be completed for each Sprint Cycle, referred to as the “Product Owner.” The Product Owner's job is to specify high-level requirements and business use cases to the Acorn team. The Product Owner is be available to meet and provide feedback ideally once a week but minimally at least once every Sprint Cycle.
  • Agile Team Lead. Acorn assigns an individual who is responsible for coaching the rest of the team through the Agile process, and removing any impediments, referred to as the “Agile Team Lead.” The Agile Team Lead is above all else, a facilitator, and serves as the liaison and continous point of contact between the business stakeholders represented by the Product Owner, and the members of the Acorn team doing the work. The needs of the client and project can change over time and require different types of expertise, so the Agile Team Lead is responsible for making those transitions seamless and keeping track of continuity for the lifetime of the partnership.
  • Agile Team members. The entire team of people who are working on the engagement is referred to as the “Agile Team.” This includes the aforementioned roles of Product Owner and Agile Team Lead, as well as other members contributing to the engagement. Regardless of whether our client nominates any individuals to join the Agile Team, Acorn is responsible for providing the balance of individuals that will make up the bulk of the Agile Team.

Navigating Data with Precision: Our Step-by-Step Approach

Our process is a meticulous journey, beginning with in-depth data analysis. We delve into your unique data landscape, uncovering key insights. Next, we transition these insights into actionable strategies, tailoring solutions to meet your specific business objectives. Throughout this journey, we ensure continuous collaboration and transparency, keeping you informed and involved at every step.
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Identify stakeholders, investigate issues, frame problems, understand use cases, gather requirements, interview business leaders and tactical and technical experts, research benchmarks and best practices.
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Perform analysis of data, create prototypes of possible solutions, and design mockups or interaction flows, and propose plans to get from the current state to the desired future state.
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Scale the work from the Design phase into more ubiquitous and scalable solutions using realistic real-world components and production-ready systems.
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Deploy solutions into production, operationalize, transfer competency to your internal team, and move into maintenance mode with or without the Acorn team.

What the Acorn Proven Process Can Accomplish

The following are some of the examples of the work that we've done for clients using the Acorn Proven Process.

Solve Problems from the Past

Analyze the root cause of problems

Separate Causation from Correlation

Tell better stories with data

Migrate data out of old systems

Make Decisions in the Present

Make more Data-driven decisions

Improve Data Infrastructure

Build Better Dashboards & Scorecards

Automate boring and tedius tasks

Optimize in ways that free up cash

Predict and Plan for the Future

Anticipate Customer Behaviors

Implement Predictive Maintenance

Deploy Anomaly/Outlier Detection

Forecast the Future

Develop Data-Intensive Applications

While every client project is a one-off, our approach to tackling problems is a well-honed blend of art and science. Totally tested, client-approved.

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