Executive Summary

BeckWay Group has published its Consulting Firm White Paper Index for Q4 2018. We selected 25 of the leading management consulting firms, reviewed their knowledge papers, and 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 Q4 2018, we incorporated an analysis of 874 knowledge papers, an increase from 742 in Q3 2018.

  • The Financial Services/ Business & Strategy category took the spotlight, representing 12% of the total, which made it the largest industry topic surveyed by the consulting firms. It gained an edge over IT/BPO/Communications, the forerunning topic of focus in Q3 2018. In the functional solutions framework, technology and transformation capped interest at 13%, although it represented a slightly smaller slice than the previous quarter’s 15%.
  • Geographical themes were mostly static compared to Q3 2018. While the U.S., Europe, UK/Russia, Asia/Pacific, and China ranked among the most frequently mentioned subjects, representing 37% of all articles, the focus on North America as a whole fell from 2% to 1%, which knocked it out of its spot in the Top 5. This does not account for the large percentage of articles published without a specific geographical focus, which we designated as “global.”

Industry View

For the first time in 2018, the Financial Services/ Business & Strategy industry generated more articles than IT/BPO/Communications, at 12% and 7% respectively (See Table 1 and Table 2). The knowledge papers described a trend of market slowdown: Bank stocks, in particular, were affected by sluggish loan growth and increasing interest margins. These topics continue to grasp the attention of the corporate world.

The second major industry was Healthcare, capturing 9% of the articles. This has been an attention-worthy topic due the volatile status of the health care environment in the United States. Economy/Tax management rounds out the top three industries, with 66 knowledge papers devoted to it, comprising 8% of the total. Many of the articles highlighted the fluctuations in the EU economy and trade policies in the United States.

In the fourth position, IT/BPO/Communications represented a major focus among Q4 2018 knowledge papers.

Table 1


Table 2


Functional Solutions View

In the Functional Solutions category, our analysis revealed Technology and Transformation to be the most popular theme of Q4 2018, comprising 13% of all articles. This was closely followed by Government Policy/ Rules & Regulation, at 12%, which grew from 8% last quarter. The next two discussed topics were Automation/Innovation/Ideas/Requirements and Risk/Challenges, Opportunities and Digitization/Smart Technology[MOU1], both at 10% of the overall articles . When combined, the top four categories represented just under half of the functional solutions, at 45% of the total. The percentage differences in these categories were quite minimal. The biggest decrease was Consumer/Market Analysis & Access: from 15% in Q3 2018 to just 10% in Q4 2018. The largest increase was in Government Policy/ Rules & Regulation, rising from 8% to 12%.

Table 3


Table 4


Geographical View

More than half (56%) 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 19% of the total. Rounding out the top five were Europe, UK/Russia, Asia/Pacific and China.

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 Q4 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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