Analyzing Trends Q1, 2018: An Index of Consulting Firms' White Papers

Executive Summary

BeckWay Group has published its Consulting White Paper Index for Q1 2018. We selected 25 of the leading management consulting firms, reviewed their knowledge papers, and then categorized this information into themes. Our examination was further refined by placing each theme within three frameworks: industry, functional solutions and geography. This analysis provides critical insight into what the leading consulting firms believe are the most relevant management topics to the corporate world.

In Q1 2018, we incorporated an analysis of 708 knowledge papers, up from 624 in Q4 2017.

IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), were the predominant industry topics covered by the consulting firms surveyed in Q1 2018, representing 15% of the total.

  • Digitization overtook company/industry strategy as the most frequent functional theme, representing content in 14% of articles.
  • There was a significant increase in mentions of Europe and Russia, collectively representing 25% of articles featuring a geographic theme.

Industry View

IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and Communications were the predominant industry topics covered by the consulting firms surveyed in Q1 2018, featured in 108 articles representing 15% of the total (See Table 1). These knowledge papers described the trend of automating and outsourcing business processes through technology—specifically, cloud-based technology. There was significantly greater coverage of these industries than there was in the previous quarter.

The next most predominant industry was Financial Services, with 78 articles representing 11% of the total. Healthcare rounds out the top three industries, with 75 knowledge papers.

Taxes and the economy were a major area of growth in Q1 2018 knowledge papers. This has been a growing trend due the recent changes in the macro environment.

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Function / Solution View

Our analysis of knowledge papers by function and solution highlighted that digitization was the most popular theme in Q1 2018, representing content in 14% of all articles. This was closely followed by technology and transformation, representing 12%, which is up from just 10% last quarter. Beyond digitization, automation and innovation represented the third most prevalent topic. Subtopics included autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and the application of data analytics. When combined, these three technology-related categories represented 37% of the total. There were significantly fewer strategy and review articles in Q1 2018, with that topic reducing to just 8% of the total published—down significantly from the number-one spot in Q4 2017.

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Geography View

More than half (64%) of the articles published did not have a specific geographical focus, so we classified them as “global.” The remainder of knowledge papers, as expected, featured the U.S. as its predominant geography, and represented 56% of the total. Rounding out the top five were Europe, UK/Russia, China and North America.

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About the Index

BeckWay Group calculates the index because we believe that understanding the trends of leading management consulting firms is both informative and important.

Our website serves as a research center for these topics since we provide full-length links to the individual papers.

The index is calculated by reviewing white papers on the websites of the management consulting sample set, which is listed below. Each knowledge paper is reviewed and assigned a theme. In a minority of cases, multiple themes are assigned, each receiving a proportional score such that each knowledge paper is only recorded as a single entry.

We appreciate Empulse Global’s assistance in the analysis.

The list of firms included in Q1 2018 are listed below:

  • Accenture
  • Alix Partners
  • Alvarez and Marsal
  • Arthur D Little
  • AT Kearney
  • Bain and company
  • BCG
  • CapGemini
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • FTI Consulting
  • Grant Thorton Consulting
  • Huron Consulting Group
  • IBM
  • KPMG Management Consulting
  • LEK Consulting
  • Marakon
  • McKinsey
  • Navigant
  • Oliver Wyman
  • Parthenon - EY
  • Protiviti
  • PWC Advisory
  • Roland Berger
  • Slalom Consulting
  • ZS Associates

About BeckWay Group

BeckWay Group provides operational capabilities through operating partners, proprietary execution software and talent finders to private equity funds to support due diligence and enhance their portfolio investment performance. www.beckwaygroup.com

Contact Details

Danyell Lance, Director of Talent Manager, BeckWay Group. dlance@beckwaygroup.com

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