The New Frontier for Firms: Data & Analytics

We see firms in every sector of the professional services industry – accounting, law, consulting – doing this, and well. But those really getting to the data science portion are few and far between. Axiom Consulting Partners’ Mark Masson, Partner, shares a perspective.

Firms are struggling with it, for sure – a lot of them think they can’t even really get started because there is just too much for them to put their arms around. They are thinking about IT infrastructure and poor data quality, when really they want to take an ‘experiment and learn and grow’ approach. They have got a lot that they could do with their data, but they need to make a mark and really think about what questions they are trying to answer as a business, do a project, try to curate that data, elevate the systems and move on.

While most are trying to put the whole thing into one project and struggling with the idea of how to get started,  a few firms are really pushing forward, taking some calculated risks around IT infrastructure, and using outside firms to teach them how to get into it – how to do data science and what that means; how to really aim the gun at questions whose answers can provide real business value and outcomes, but also really drive capabilities internally from an IT and data analytics standpoint.

We see firms in every sector of the professional services industry – accounting, law, consulting – doing this, and well. But those really getting to the data science portion are really few and far between. I caution firms that they don’t have to become fully-fledged experts at AI or machine learning or big data and analytics or be able to use the cloud services. They really just need to be able to dig in, understand the key questions they want to answer as a business, and get focused on curating the data and capabilities around those particular things. Then they can learn and grow and move on into the bigger suite of services.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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