Software Development

The development of bespoke analytical software forms a core part of Golden Orb’s client offering.

We believe fervently in the ability of IT to transform businesses and it forms a logical extension of our analytical work to develop software which helps clients to understand their business better and take more informed decisions. The sort of software that we develop is typically:

  • Highly analytical/mathematical
  • Related to forecasting as well as reporting
  • Not available off the shelf and therefore a source of considerable competitive advantage
  • Aimed at senior managers, to support better decision making

The key to successful software development is building a real understanding of the underlying business need and always working with that in mind. With that understanding, our consultants can anticipate and avoid potential problems, explore beyond the project brief and sometimes suggest a very different approach to that originally envisaged by the client. Although popular wisdom has it that the actual writing of code is a commodity task which is easily outsourced, and whilst it is true that a good design is critical to a successful project, Golden Orb believe strongly that it is vital that the actual developers are of the highest calibre and have a full understanding of the business issues involved. We therefore have our top quality consultants work on development as much as on analysis, design and customer liaison.

Amongst other differences, this means, for example, that we do not subscribe to the ‘standard’ development model whereby the client provides a specification against which a quote is prepared, following which any changes are charged incrementally. We know that it can be impossible to predict up-front what problems will be encountered, and understand that requirements can change in the course of a project. Our designs therefore allow for flexibility wherever possible and our fixed prices allow for minor alterations without incurring additional cost.

We also understand that it is almost impossible to think through all potential issues up front and much easier for clients to make good decisions about the direction of a project when they have something to see. For this reason, we usually adopt an iterative development approach, developing a simple first release as quickly as possible, in the full knowledge that it may need significant rewriting as the project progresses. This also allows clients to derive some benefits as quickly as possible, even if they initially find the inevitable limitations of the first release somewhat frustrating. This runs counter to much conventional wisdom that holds that it is essential to have every aspect of a new system fully mapped out before commencing development – resulting in months of specification during which time we would frequently have developed and delivered a first release. We would always try to get the fundamentals right from the outset though – platform, architecture, underlying data model etc.

Whilst we do not believe our capabilities to be defined by our language skills, we currently offer the following:

  • User interface development
    • Microsoft ASP.Net, Microsoft Visual Basic/C#, Borland Delphi, Microsoft Visual C++
  • Relational databases
    • Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle RDBMS, Microsoft Access, MySQL
  • OLAP databases
    • Oracle Express/Oracle OLAP engine, Microsoft Analysis Services
  • Analytical/presentation tools
    • Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Access) including Visual Basic for Applications
  • Platforms
    • Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Linux