Cascade Strategies

Overall score: 5.0 / 5

Cascade Strategies

For this client, we performed multiple projects during a long-time cooperation.

Duration:
2014 – 2015

Chrome OS & Android
Java, Tomcat, Postgres, JavaScript

Client location:
United States

Background

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the president of Cascade Strategies, which is a 26-year old market research organization focused on large-scale e-commerce development, predictive analytics, and big data.

opportunity / challenge

What challenge were you trying to address with Gecko Dynamics?

We needed an agency able to develop websites and interpret the data properly for the following areas: biometric signals, neural signals, GSR signals, and some facial recognition coding. We had one biometric signals project for which we needed help in particular.

Solution

What was the scope of their involvement?

For the biometric signals project, they built the frontend and backend using Java. The solution was structured to receive neurometric and biometric data. Building and correcting algorithms to make the data more comprehensible was also a key service.

The front end of our platform needs to be visually appealing and user-friendly. The functions and controls should be intuitive. 

What is the team dynamic?

The team was Ukrainian, but our main point of contact, Alexey [CTO, Gecko Dynamics], lives in Vancouver.  Alexey and I spoke on a daily basis to resolve unexpected issues such as malfunctioning signals or corruption. Eventually, he appointed an account manager that liaised between us and the various team members in Europe.

How did you come to work with Gecko Dynamics?

We used them previously to make a market research tool that did not include biometric signals. However, we chose to give them this biometric signals project based on our past collaboration.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $100,000 to $120,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project began in late 2014 and concluded around mid-2015.

results & feedback

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

This project was not structured to achieve a quantifiable result. For similar projects, we tend to build apps for our clients, but do not see how they use them.

However, it is worthwhile to note that Alexey did build the system a team of political science professors at the University of Texas used to predict accurately the 2016 presidential election when many prestigious polling firms did not. Their success attracted national press attention from major cable news outlets. 

How did Gecko Dynamics perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent. The account manager was instrumental in the coordination between our offices and the developers.

We interacted via conference calls and group emails, but primarily communicated with Alexey. We conducted web conferences on Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting. We used MATLAB for many of the algorithms. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were passionate about the work, which isn't always the case when outsourcing. Alexey and his team demonstrated a greater understanding of our mission than other companies had shown in the past. 

They combined superior math skills with existing technical knowledge, which also distinguishes them from competitors. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

The time different presented challenges that could be easily overcome with a local representative, especially for those customers who prefer direct interaction. 

Advice for potential customers?

Customers should consider appointing a dedicated account manager earlier rather than later. Doing so is likely to help manage the development process. 

5.0

Overall Score

There were some language barriers, but their jovial demeanor made the collaboration enjoyable. They're easy to get along with and fun.

5.0 Scheduling
On time / deadlines
They were typically, but not always, on time with deliverables. Scheduling is a definite strength.
5.0 Cost
Value / within estimates
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that they were more competitive by world standards.
5.0 Quality
Service & deliverables
We seldom had quibbles about the code performance.
5.0 NPS
Willing to refer
I’ve already passed their name along to people.

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