Consulting Firms and Agencies Are the Perfect Complement for Data-as-a-Service

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One of the biggest revenue drivers for future-thinking consulting firms and agencies will be helping companies effectively use external data.  

Historically, future-thinking services firms (like Accenture, KPMG, Deloitte, etc.) have helped organizations manage their own data. These consulting firms helped build tools and systems to help organizations better understand what is happening in their own companies.

As companies get better and better at using their external data, we are seeing more of them buying and utilizing it. This is because internal data give a limited picture of the world—even massive companies like Walmart only see less than 0.1% of what is happening outside of their walls (or web site). External data (provided by DaaS companies) can help fill in the picture and give organizations a better understanding of what is going on with their customers, suppliers, partners, and the global economy.

This external data is incredibly hard to use and make sense of. After all, it is just data. It is usually delivered via a big CSV dump or API call.  Most data companies just hand off the data to their customers and say “good luck.” In fact, a decent amount of purchased data just sits on the shelf and is never used.  

This is where the forward-thinking consulting firms and agencies come in. They have a massive opportunity to help organizations make use of external data.  

Consulting firms are an obvious complement to data companies. The more data a company has, the more help it needs to make sense of the data and take advantage of its capabilities. For every $10,000 a company spends on data, it might need to spend $1,000,000 on other services (like consulting, compute, software, etc.) to get a deeper knowledge of the data.  

So the more data an organization has, the more it needs outside data science capabilities. And the more data science capabilities an organization has, the more data it can buy.  

Let us define what a “forward-thinking” consulting firm is because, historically, many agencies have been backward-looking and not willing to invest to ensure their clients are better off.  “Forward-thinking” means doing what is in the best interest of the client, investing in deep technical know-how, having the capabilities to integrate many software applications together, and having a deep bench of data scientists.

The traditional systems-integration firms (like Accenture and KPMG) are poised to do well to take advantage of the new world of data. These firms are neutral and don’t own software or data vendors—so they can give their clients the very best outcome in partnership with unbiased vendors.  

The fortunes of data companies are irrevocably linked to the forward-thinking consulting firms who can help make the data sing. Data is just an ingredient. It needs expertise. Large consulting firms are natural complements to external data.

Auren Hoffman is CEO of SafeGraph.