Over the last 5 years, global consulting firms have increasingly focused on helping their clients with digital acceleration. From measuring their digital maturity and reframing their strategy to implementing digital tools and processes, consulting firms are vying to capture more of their clients’ attention and spend. BCG developed a digital acceleration index, McKinsey invested in a Digital Labs group, and Bain launched BainDigital.com to showcase their capabilities.
While preaching a new digital approach to their clients, these firms have also invested in new digital tools for their consulting staff. In addition to improving productivity, these tools allow the firm to showcase their capabilities to clients. Based on conversations with numerous consultants across multiple firms, here are 4 new digital tools that are driving significant productivity gains:
Tableau is an interactive data visualization software solution focused on business intelligence.
While static PowerPoint charts are still the mainstay of most presentations, Tableau is allowing consultants to make sense of large datasets. With Tableau, consultants can also dive into different data cuts in real time, helping create more conversational client interactions. However, Tableau does have a learning curve and effectively using large, complex datasets requires discipline and a strong analytical approach.
Slide-level search is the process of finding individual ‘killer’ slides across many presentations
Consulting organizations have people, tools, and processes in place to help capture knowledge generated during each project. Over time, they have built a vault of PowerPoint presentations stored in large content repositories. These repositories are an important tool for consultants as they conduct research and prepare for new projects.
However, instead of searching for presentations and then flipping through them to find relevant slides, consultants have consistently asked for the ability to search for individual slides instead. With TeamSlide, we are proud to be helping a variety of firms enable slide-level access. Either through a web portal or through our even more powerful PowerPoint add-in, consultants now have access to their firm’s entire repository on a slide level.
Some firms have even extended this ability to the consultant’s desktop allowing them to find individual slides from presentations on their own computer.
Slack is a set of cloud-based instant messaging and collaboration tools
As projects grow more complex and the velocity of interactions increases, email and traditional web portal tools are proving to be too clunky. Slack provides instant access to your team’s interactions including chat conversations, notifications, and files. With consulting cases changing every few months, the use of Slack channels allows teams and subgroups to be quickly formed and no longer requires IT support. Further, slack integrates with a host of other services creating a seamless experience.
Cloud content management
Cloud content management is an online repository for all our files (e.g. Box, OneDrive)
While cloud storage is a pervasive solution in many industries, traditional consulting organizations have been slow to adopt it. However, over the last few years consulting firms have started to trust online solutions and many are now pushing their staff to keep content online rather than on their desktops. Box now offers advanced security measures that are building trust with consulting organizations.
If it’s been a few years since you’ve left consulting, the firm today is likely quite different than the firm you remember. If you still use tools that were first introduced to you while consulting, you may want to try some of the new ones above. As the focus on digital sharpens, consulting firms will continue to adopt new tools to increase productivity and showcase their capabilities to clients.