Navigating the landscape of data management, business intelligence, and data analytics can be particularly challenging for mid-market companies. Unlike enterprises that boast extensive in-house BI departments, these companies often find themselves wondering: should they build an internal data team or outsource their projects to a vendor? The answer may lie in a third, hybrid approach—hiring a fractional data team.

5 Advantages to Hiring a Fractional Data Team


1) Cost-Efficiency

Building an internal team comes with a hefty price tag. You're looking at about $400,000-$500,000 in payroll for a team with the requisite technical skills. Fractional teams, on the other hand, can be accessed for a set monthly fee at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a full-time team. (As an example, see our pricing.) 

2) Expertise On-Demand

Mid-market companies frequently lack specialized knowledge in BI, data, and analytics, so finding the right talent for data projects is a significant hurdle. A fractional data team fills this gap by providing immediate access to a diverse range of expertise, allowing you to build data pipelines, maintain data lakehouses, and develop BI reports on an ongoing basis.

3) Flexibility and Scalability

Business needs are ever-changing and the need for different skillsets at various stages of a data project adds another layer of complexity to building an internal team. For example, individuals with the skills needed to set up a data lakehouse and build data pipelines are not usually the same individuals that want to monitor and maintain the solution ongoing or build BI reports from them. A fractional team offers the flexibility to adapt to these evolving needs without the hassle of constant hiring and training.

4) Knowledge Continuity

One of the most overlooked aspects of BI is data continuity. When key team members leave, they often take their expertise with them which can leave projects at a standstill. Fractional data teams mitigate this risk by ensuring that organizational knowledge is retained through maintaining documentation to avoid disruption, rework, and ensure continued progress.

5) Continuous Support and Solution Improvement

Traditional consulting relationships often lack the element of ongoing support and continuous improvement after one-off projects, but there is a lot of value to be realized from ongoing iteration and adaptation as your company evolves. Through a managed data service, fractional data teams provide this level of continuous service, making them an ideal choice for scaling your solution to adapt to changing business needs.

6 Signs It's Time to Consider a Fractional Data Team

If find yourself grappling with some of the following issues, it might be time to explore data management solutions through a fractional data team.

Expertise Gap: Are you finding it difficult to advance your data initiatives due to a lack of specialized skills within your team?

Time Sensitive Projects: Do you need to kickstart a new project but can't afford to wait to spin up an in-house team?

Resource Allocation: Are you torn between expanding in-house capabilities and outsourcing projects?

Capacity Constraints: Is your team understaffed and unable to stay up to date on best practices and the latest technology in data management?

Growing Complexity: Are you uncertain about how to manage the increasing complexity of your data?

Investment Concerns: Is the financial commitment to develop and retain in-house expertise becoming a burden?

If any of this rings true for you, it's worth considering hiring a fractional team to manage your data. Not only does it address the expertise gap, it also offers a scalable solution that can adapt to your company’s evolving needs.

By partnering with a fractional data team, mid-market companies can focus on their core business, confident that their data is managed by experts. The best results often come from a partner that offers this as an ongoing service with a predictable spend.

The Takeaway

A fractional data team is a right-sized approach for companies looking to increase their data capabilities and keep pace with rapid advances without increasing employee overhead.  

Blue Margin’s Managed Data Service (MDS) is designed to provide quick access and insight into company data. It's a subscription-based service that's easy to understand, even for those without a technical background. Unlike other options, MDS is quick to set up, hosted by us, and comes with the support of our expert data team.

For more insights or to discuss how MDS can be tailored to your specific needs, contact us.

For Further Reading 

CIO Insights on Data Monetization, Data Lakes, and AI
Private Equity Strategy: Is Your Portfolio Ready for Generative AI?
In the Age of AI, You Need a Data Lake(house) in the First 100 Days
A Middle Market Playbook for Strategic Data Management
Katie Johnson

Written by Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson is Blue Margin’s marketing manager. With a degree in human development, Katie is a student of the connection between data insights and the people who use them. She has a gift for making complex ideas accessible and brings her aptitude for process design to every conversation.