iConsultancy - Solving Information Challenges

WE PARTNER WITH INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT, AND COMMUNITIES

Partnering students and faculty with public and private sector organizations to solve real world problems.

 

Who We Are

The iConsultancy at the University of Maryland’s top-ranked College of Information Studies partners with public and private sector organizations and businesses to solve your information challenges. We work with your organization to clearly define and scope your information-based projects and, with our talented pool of undergraduate and graduate students, fulfill your project goals while providing our students with invaluable real-world experience.

Our Services 

The iConsultancy provides a diverse set of information-based services designed to meet business-critical problems while challenging our students.  Our projects and student teams are overseen by professional and academic experts.

Student project teams design innovative products that connect business and user needs.

User experience user interface projects conduct deep user research to understand the client's needs and iteratively design a product for them. This comprehensive project includes extensive background research, in-depth field interviews, ideation, and an iterative design process to generate a validated product design for the client. 

Sample deliverables include:

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Digital prototype(s), wire frames, and mockups 
  • Experience models 
  • Affinity diagrams  

Student project teams help answer key questions to drive business through data analysis.  

Data analytics and reporting projects conduct exploratory data analysis and draw conclusions from data to derive business impact. This could include insights based on customer segments, sales trends based on seasonal effects, or HR employee turnover data. 

Sample deliverables include:

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Example data visualizations  
  • Data analysis results 

Student project teams help businesses understand data through accessible visualizations.

Data visualization projects build interactive data visualizations, including dashboards for the organization, that drive informed business decisions. Data visualization projects make use of readily available toolsets and can include recommendations for data visualization platforms to serve long-term business needs. 

Sample deliverables include:

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Example data visualizations
  • Example data dashboards 
  • Technical and user manuals to support the data visualizations long term 

Student project teams help businesses understand gaps and opportunities in their current business and information processes.

Information process and workflow projects analyze the organizations’ business processes and information workflows for optimization, reliability, and cost reduction. These projects focus on aligning your information assets to how you run your business to improve efficiency and support decision-making.

Sample deliverables include:

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Process mapping and documentation 
  • Information workflows and documentation

Student project teams help businesses and organizations optimize their use of data through data preprocessing and database design. 

Database and technology development projects focus on new or existing database platforms and other information systems to meet client business needs. This may include architecting and developing custom databases; designing and developing data management processes and documentation; and providing recommendations on information management best practices. 

Sample deliverables include:

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Custom database designs and prototypes 
  • Data catalogues
  • Data transformation workflows and reporting
  • Information management best practices

Student project teams help businesses and organizations deliver impactful web experiences that are usable and accessible. 

Website design projects improve information architecture, site design, and visual aesthetics. Projects also include performing Web accessibility and usability analysis to ensure that the designs are inclusive. 

Sample deliverables include: 

  • A detailed written report with recommendations
  • Low or high fidelity wireframes
  • Working prototypes of proposed designs 
  • Detailed Web accessibility and usability reports and recommendations 

Our Approach 

The iConsultancy provides overall project management and support to ensure a successful project for you and a good learning experience for students, from initial scoping to final deliverables.

  • Working with our clients, the iConsultancy develops a project scope of work that will guide our student teams each semester.  
  • Under the guidance of industry expert instructors, each student team will work with the client directly to ensure that the project needs and deliverables are well understood. 
  • Project teams will provide you with regular updates on their progress throughout the course of the project.  The project will be continually tracked by both the instructor and the iConsultancy to ensure that the project timelines and deliverables are met.
  • At the completion of the project, you will receive a final project presentation and detailed report along with any other deliverables defined in the scope of work.

Get Involved

Our students and instructors have a proven track record of delivering positive, high-quality impactful results that provide our students with invaluable real-world, professional experiences critical to graduating Fearless, well-prepared professionals.

If your organization has a challenging project, we want to hear about it.  Please use the contact form below and a member of the iConsultancy will contact you to discuss your needs.

iConsultancy Interest Form

Our Partners

iConsultancy Partner Logos

In order to help prospective sponsors, understand the benefits and limitations of sponsoring an iConsultancy project, the Sponsored Course Agreement terms can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF. These terms were created with the object of providing sponsors the maximum benefit possible while protecting our students from undue legal liability.
The following is a summary of key agreement terms:

  • UMD Students: Students are not employed by the University and cannot be legally bound by the Sponsored Course Agreements. In order to protect students, UMD cannot permit students to sign other agreements drafted by the Sponsor.
  • Confidential information of the Sponsor: Sponsors are discouraged from providing highly sensitive information including trade secrets to course participants. Although students cannot be a party to the Sponsored Course Agreement, the students and course instructor will sign an acknowledgment statement agreeing to protect the confidential information of the sponsor. The sponsor is not permitted to share information protected by legal statute i.e. export-controlled, HIPAA, CUI, etc., with participants.
  • Project deliverables: Project participants will use reasonable efforts to conduct the project and present project results and recommendations to the sponsor at the completion of the project. However, the Sponsored Course Agreement does not guarantee any particular results or deliverables and the sponsorship fee shall not be contingent upon any deliverable.
  • Intellectual Property (IP): UMD policy requires that students own IP they create in connection with course work. UMD cannot require students to assign their IP to project sponsors. However, in accordance with the Sponsored Course Agreement terms, sponsors will jointly own rights to project results so long as sponsor employee(s) participate in the project by providing guidance, direct input, or information that is used in the development of project results. UMD students will sign a statement acknowledging joint ownership of project results.
  • UMD legal status: UMD is a governmental entity of the State of Maryland. With regards to legal jurisdiction, liability, and related contractual terms, UMD is bound by state law, policy, and the consent of the Maryland Attorney General. UMD is unable to negotiate alternate terms and conditions for course sponsorship.

The full Sponsored Course Agreement terms will be incorporated by reference in the Sponsored Course Agreement. If you have questions about the Terms or would like to request a copy of the agreement form, please contact Bill Kules at wmk@umd.edu.

ONGOING
Corporate partners set up an initial project brainstorming meeting (in person or via phone/teleconference) with iConsultancy staff.

0–2 MONTHS OUT
Partners work with iConsultancy staff to finalize the project scope and parameters and prepare data.

SEMESTER BEGINS
Your project is assigned to a student team.  The team will reach out early in the semester to review the scope of work and confirm the expected deliverables.

THROUGHOUT SEMESTER
Partners and appropriate stakeholders meet regularly with student teams to ensure that the project remains on-track and that project deliverables are met.

END OF SEMESTER
Partners attend the student team’s final project presentation on campus or virtually and are provided with digital copies of the project deliverables.

AFTER SEMESTER
Partners complete a post-project survey with additional outreach from the iConsultancy staff.

TOTAL TIME COMMITMENT
~5 hours of prep before the semester (project scoping and information gathering)
~1-2 hours per week during the semester (meetings with students and supporting student project needs/data gathering)