Executive Summary

BeckWay Group has published its Consulting Firm White Paper Index for Q3 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 in the corporate world.

In Q3 2018, we incorporated an analysis of 742 knowledge papers, up from 681 in Q2 2018.

  • IT, business process outsourcing (BPO) and communications remain the top focus in Q3 2018. Out of the top 10 industry topics surveyed by the consulting firms, this category represents 12% of the total, a slight decline from 15% in Q2 2018. In the functional solutions framework, the categories of technology and transformation and consumer/market analysis received even interest, at 15% each.
  • The percentages of geographical themes were mostly static compared to Q2 2018 as the U.S., Europe, North America, UK/Russia, and Asia/Pacific ranked among the top 5 most frequently mentioned subjects, representing 34% of all articles. This does not account for the large percentage of articles published without a specific geographical focus, which we deemed as “global.”

Industry View

Once again, IT, BPO, and communications remain the chief industry topics covered by the consulting firms surveyed in Q3 2018, featured in 88 articles representing 12% of the total (See Table 1 and Table 2). This was the third consecutive quarter that this group topped the list. The knowledge papers described the trend of automating and outsourcing business processes through technology—specifically, cloud-based technology and artificial intelligence. These topics continue to grasp the attention of the corporate world.

The second major industry was financial services/business and strategy, with 74 articles representing 10% of the total. Business continuity management rounds out the top three industries, with 69 knowledge papers and 9% of the total.

As number 4 out of the top 10 industries, healthcare continues to represent a major focus among Q3 2018 knowledge papers. This has been an attention-worthy topic due the volatile status of the health care environment in the United States.

Table 1


Table 2


Function / Solution View

Our analysis of knowledge papers in the functional solution category revealed a tie between technology and transformation and consumer/market analysis as the most popular themes of Q3 2018. Both comprise 15% of all articles. This was closely followed by digitization, representing 11%, which shrunk from 14% last quarter. Beyond digitization, risk/challenges, opportunities and growth was the third most prevalent topic, at 10%, with 73 articles. When combined, the top four categories represented just over half of the functional solutions, at 51% of the total. The percentage differences in these categories were quite minimal. The biggest decrease was digitization: from 14% in Q2 2018 to 11% in Q3 2018. The largest increase was in the number-one spot of technology and transformation, from 12% to 15%.

Table 3


Table 4


Geography View

Over more than half (59%) of the articles published did not have a specific geographical focus, so we classified them as “global” (See Tables 5 & 6). The remainder of knowledge papers, as predicted, featured the U.S. as its main geographical focus, and represented 24% of the total. Rounding out the top five were Europe, North America, UK/Russia and Asia/Pacific.

Table 5


Table 6


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 this analysis.

The list of firms included in Q3 2018 are listed below:

Accenture Consulting
Alix Partners
Alvarez and Marsal
Arthur D Little
AT Kearney
Bain & Company
Deloitte Consulting
FTI Consulting
Grant Thorton Consulting
Huron Consulting Group
IBM Consulting
KPMG Management Consulting
LEK Consulting
Oliver Wyman
Parthenon – EY
PWC Advisory
Roland Berger
Simon-Kucher and Partners
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.

Contact Details

Danyell Lance, Director of Talent Manager, BeckWay Group.

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