My name is Sebastian, I am an Analytics Lead in Germany and I just celebrated my three year anniversary at InterWorks. My job today is to explain a few things for you about who we are.
There are three groups of people who ask that question:
- Those who want to join us and wonder if we are the right fit for them.
- Those who consider working with us.
- Us. Yep, we question ourselves deliberately all the time. We want to have a good answer for that question, too.
This article is for group #2. You could be a vast corporation, or you could be the physician next door. You could be a manufacturer with a few hundred co-workers, you could be a start-up, aiming for the sky. Maybe you are a hospital, maybe a government body, maybe you are a non-profit, making it your business to help, rather than earn. I want to be frank here: I will try my best to convince you that we are a good choice. I want to show you, why we are an attractive choice.
So again: Why InterWorks? There are as many answers to that question as there are people working at InterWorks, and I am guiding you through the most important answers:
- Our Mantra: Best Work, Best Clients, Best People
- The Magic of Scoping
- Our Collective
- Masters of Relationships
- We Really Like What We Do
Let’s start with our mantra:
Best Work, Best Clients, Best People
When it comes to this triumvirate, we don’t joke around. And we don’t settle for average.
When we build a data pipeline, it will be the best pipeline possible. If we build a dashboard, you get the highest quality in the shortest time. If we train you, you won’t just be amazing at applying what you’ve learned, you will inspire others as well. If we help you figure out your BI journey, we will be clear, concise and supportive without sugarcoating problems. Our best work means you get authenticity combined with our skills and experience.
We love to be there for you, but we choose our clients carefully and don’t take every job just because it’s there. We are always friendly, kind and respectful of our clients, and we expect you to respect us. We love criticism, as long as it is respectful. We cherish our relationship with you, we won’t ghost you and won’t let you down, but we’d like you to act the same. A best client is one we can be proud of when we think of our journey together.
We don’t hire everyone. Even if they are the most brilliant minds we’ve ever seen. We value high skills, but what we value even more is kindness in people. What gets someone hired at InterWorks is a HELL YES from everyone involved in the recruitment process. Sounds harsh, but “Best People” isn’t just an empty phrase. We are a community of caring people, who see the best in others, not the worst. We love to be better than yesterday and we have fun with what we do.
When I started at InterWorks, everyone threw this mantra around, and it took me a few weeks to realize that it was actually true.
The Magic of Scoping
Sounds boring, but is pretty amazing. When you get in touch with us, it’s probably because you have a challenge you need help with. That’s why we exist. After reaching out to anyone here (it could be an account executive, could be a consultant, could be our beloved colleagues at the front desk), we will offer you a scoping call. For that, we set up a 30-60 minutes conversation to understand what you would like to solve. No charge, no contract, nothing yet. (If you need us to sign an NDA, we’ll do that of course.)
In this call you’ll meet two InterWorkers: The Sales Lead and the Scoper.
- Sales Lead: They know our portfolio like no other. They know what we can offer, what is in every offer, what value you can get out of every solution, what their pricings are and everything around that. They are well-connected with our partners. They are also intertwined with all of our current or previous clients, and from that experience, they’ll have a good feeling of what offer or solution will fit your need. They decide how we can package our services for you, they evaluate discounts and are your go-to person whenever you have a question about what you get for your money. The Sales Lead wants to sell you something. That’s their prerogative, their job. They connect you with us.
- Scoper: The Scoper’s primary job is to understand your business, your challenges and your strategy for working with data in your specific organisation. They are experienced in architecting and delivering projects of various sizes, in many different industries and across the entire data lifecycle. This is how they will help you figure out a way to solve your challenges and move ahead on your data journey. In practice, this also means that they will scope (professionally estimate) the effort, time and budget needed to implement the solution that we develop together.
Usually, we can help you, but we have also had scoping calls in which the Scoper came to the conclusion that a different tool or a different expertise from somewhere else might be a better fit for a client.
The Scoper is on your side in a call and will never try to convince you of something that they are not convinced of.
That means you will be in a very balanced call and will leave with options. We want to find out if what we offer matches what you need. You will never be pressured to decide anything. We want you to trust us, and we know we don’t get there by pushing you. If you need time to think, you need time to think. We respect that without any reservation.
Above: Our meetings are about you, the customer.
Okay, let’s say you booked time with us. What is in there for you, that you don’t get anywhere else?
Well, first off: no consultant in the world knows everything. If someone tells you they do, they are lying. We are humble when it comes to showing off our knowledge. We know a lot and we’ve experienced a lot, but we don’t know everything. And that’s okay, it doesn’t bother us at all. Why? Because we never work alone.
When you hire me for a cool or really necessary project, maybe even with a hard deadline next week, you hire someone embedded in our InterWorks community. Sounds fuzzy and cloudy? Nope. We are currently 274 people, and that means, there are 273 other people trying to help me succeed on your project. I can rely on all of them to help me out if the need arises. I can ask anything and will get an answer almost immediately. I can cry for help, and a bunch of people will offer me to hop on a Zoom call to figure out the problem together.
When you hire one of us, you hire all of us and can tap into the swarm knowledge of our combined experiences. That’s why it quite often seems, like our consultants know everything. (Let me remind you: we don’t. And if we don’t, we are not afraid to tell you.)
We recruit from universities (students, but also teachers and professors), we recruit from tech companies (maybe a lead developer from Tableau or Google found his way into our arms at some point), we recruit from non-profits, government bodies and we recruit from diverse business branches. This produces a mix of experiences and also a mix of perspectives.
But it doesn’t stop there. We all collect experiences when working with our clients, that we can then translate again into new solutions for different things. It feels a bit funny, but what we do for you, could someday solve the problem of someone else. And that’s pretty awesome. We grow with each challenge, our skill set deepens, meaning, when you hire us again, we are better than we were the last time. And you are a reason for that.
And there’s still more: We allow ourselves to not get too comfortable. We encourage everyone to find new interesting tools, topics, innovations. That leads to cross-practice collaboration, or – in other words – analytics colleagues work with data colleagues, design colleagues work with platform colleagues and so on. And within all these roles there are different specializations. That means, no consultant has the exact same skill set. Everyone is a subject matter expert, is the go-to person for a specific topic for everyone else. And for you.
We have a blog on our website (you are reading it right now). Well, doesn’t everybody nowadays? Probably, but they are not as famous for their blog as we are. Why?
- Well, we have thousands of articles out there. Roughly 3,000 as of July 2023, which would fill about 12 books, each one with a thousand pages.
- They are written by experts on their respective topics.
- You won’t get a boring text with a step-by-step guide to solve a problem. You may get a step-by-step guide, but you will also get a person speaking to you, joking with you, and describing challenges and solutions in a way that is entertaining and helpful. Usually, it’s fun to read our blogs.
- We are pretty good at explaining things. We don’t write documentations in our blogs. We are consultants. We give advice, and we do that when we write, too. That means, we try to take your perspective when creating them, which will make them easy to follow in the end.
- We are not afraid to share our knowledge. In my opinion, that’s the main reason why our blog is awesome.
We get this question quite often:
“How do you still make money, when you give your knowledge away for free all the time in this amazing blog?”
Our answer to that is (apart from no one wanting to read 3,000 articles to solve a specific problem):
People trust us because all that content is free for grabs. It can be consumed, tested, evaluated, criticized and even improved by everyone. You don’t have to pay before you know it’s valuable. We show what we can do instead of tell what we can do. That’s our way to build trust.
Above: We travel often to share our knowledge with clients, universities and more.
We Are Masters of Relationships
Well, we try our best. Every relationship needs work, and we put a lot of work into it. We accompany our clients on their journeys, and they accompany us on our journey.
We Want You to Succeed
That should be a given, but I re-iterate it nonetheless. Consultancies often have to choose between helping their clients as far as long as need them vs. creating a steady cashflow to keep their business. We don’t want to choose because we think these two goals shouldn’t contradict each other.
You succeeding at what you want to do means we did our job. We are proud of that. And we don’t diminish that pride by creating problems where none have been before or force ourselves into your daily workflows, especially when there is no need. When you have accomplished your goal, we take a step back. We are happy if you reach out again if you need help, but if you don’t, we’ll still book you as a Best Client and leave you be.
Every coach knows this rule: The longer I’m coaching my client/patient, the worse I am. Don’t get me wrong: we like to stay in touch with you, even after a project is finished. But the rule does apply for every project we help with.
We are techies, but we are a bit proud to also be great communicators!
- We favour an open and transparent conversation in every meeting, in every call. We don’t sugarcoat. All of that is especially true for the Account Lead, a dedicated colleague, who will accompany you from our side as long as you work with us. They are your go-to person for everything, good and bad, complex or trivial. While we consider every relationship with a client being a partnership, this one colleague embodies that spirit even more than the rest of us.
- Our preferred channels are Slack, Zoom, Teams, Phone (yes, we still do that!) and emails. And, of course, seeing each other live and in-person. But if you need another way to communicate, we can usually accommodate.
- Communicating with us will feel like you have known us for a long time, even if we just met yesterday. We are pretty informal when talking or writing to you (unless you wish us not to be). Per default, all of us are on a first names basis, and we continue that with you.
Delivery Leadership is our spin on project management. On every project, one of us will have the responsibility to keep an eye on the project. That includes:
- Aligning Expectations:
The Delivery Lead makes sure both you and our consultants have the same goal in mind and the necessary information to start.
- Operational Management:
The Delivery Lead keeps an eye on deadlines, checks progress and raises flags if something is not going as expected.
- First Person of Contact:
The Delivery Lead is available in case you need something or want to ask something about the project. They are in tight contact with our consultants and the Account Lead and is aware of what has happened, is happening and is supposed to happen.
To dump everything down into one sentence: It’s the Delivery Lead’s job to avoid surprises and, if they still come along, to manage them smoothly.
We Really Like What We Do
My passion is delivering (and building) trainings and workshops for our clients and also for ourselves.
I have no background in education. Far away actually: I studied politics. When I dove into the data world—Excel at the time–I was just really excited with what I could do in that tool. (I was even excited to build 3D charts at one point. Dark times.) I loved the formulas and using logic to get where I wanted to be.
Then, something strange happened. People asked me to solve their Excel problems. I did, and I got better and better at it. I was super proud. A bit later, I proposed to do a little in-house training for my colleagues. Completely informal, just telling them what I thought was relevant and what I found exciting. It worked!
A bit later, I stumbled into the SQL world and, somehow, the same thing happened. After a year, I gave SQL trainings. A bit later I started my Tableau journey. As you might have guessed: After I learned the tool and began to love it, I wanted to share my love and offered to train people.
This was when I found my way to InterWorks. I love sharing my knowledge because I love sharing the fun I have with these tools. For me, it’s super convenient that I found a company where I am actually paid for doing what I love. That is true for almost everyone at InterWorks. We do things we love doing. Not everything, not all the time, but we appreciate those times as well because we can look forward to our favourite tasks again.
For you, that means when you get an InterWorks consultant to solve your problems, you get someone who loves to solve your problems. It’s our world, it’s what we do and what we get up for in the morning (on work days).
Above: From InterWorks, “Cheers!”