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Business, Career Development, Data

Data Skills: What Professional Service Consultants Need To Know

General Assembly
March 25, 2024
Data Skills: What Professional Service Consultants Need To Know

As a strategic consultant, you know your clients are eager to talk data. From mining to analysis to modeling, they’re keen for you to extract meaningful insights and use them to shape forward-thinking strategies that address their most pressing challenges.

Maintaining leading-edge data skills is a top business imperative for all professional service firms — but how do you make sure you — and every new employee that joins your ranks — are sharpening data competencies to the highest standard? 

“Our data programs for the professional services industry are all about helping consultants bring better solutions to their clients — which, in turn, allows them to bill at higher rates.”

Ciaran Moloney, VP of Solutions at General Assembly

Why Data Skills Matter To You

Before we dig into the how, let’s talk about the why. In 2024, data isn’t just an opportunity for professional services consultants — it’s an imperative. Consider what business leaders across all sectors (that is, your prospective clients) are saying:

  • 94% plan to increase investments in data and analytics (McKinsey). 
  • 84% believe competitively leveraging data is a key driver of growth (Accenture).
  • 25% of CIOs will use strategies to accelerate digital skills for key roles by 50% (Gartner).

Despite a pervasive understanding of data’s significance, 77% of CEOs report business adoption of Big Data/AI initiatives is a major challenge, and only 31% of those surveyed consider their companies truly “data-driven.” 

That’s where you come in. With the right data skills, your consultants can fill important gaps, serve as data liaisons, and guide your clients through their digital transformation growing pains. 

Strategic consulting firms must excel in key areas of data proficiency to provide effective services. These include: 

  • Efficient data collection and integration
  • Robust data quality and governance measures
  • Proficiency in advanced analytics and modeling
  • Use of data visualization tools for clear communication
  • Development of data strategies aligned with long-term client goals
  • An agile approach to adapt to challenges related to cybersecurity and data privacy
  • Cross-functional collaboration for holistic understanding
  • Commitment to continuous learning and skill development

By mastering these domains, consulting firms can leverage data to offer valuable insights, support informed decision-making, and drive strategic success for clients.

What General Assembly Can Do To Help

General Assembly has a proven track record of partnering with world-renowned professional services firms to help meet their needs for data upskilling.

Our Data Analytics program builds fundamental skills in all of the areas mentioned above, enabling existing employees to populate open data roles and expanding data fluency across the organization. Meanwhile, our Advanced Analytics courses build areas of expertise for mid-career data professionals so they can keep up-to-date with the most in-demand skill sets. 

Over the span of 40 hours, GA’s data analysis courses cover mission-critical areas like:

  • How to frame the right questions and obtain the right data.
  • The best methods to prepare and analyze data.
  • Tools and techniques to effectively communicate data results.

Whether remote or onsite, GA’s instructor-led sessions equip your consultants with practical knowledge and capabilities they can put to work immediately. Through assignments, case study analysis, and hands-on projects mimicking real-world tasks and workflows, your employees will work through the material with oversight from subject matter experts, enjoying regular feedback to ensure they’re hitting their learning milestones. 

Train Your Dream Team Today

In this data-driven era, where client expectations and industry demands are continually on the rise, General Assembly’s data courses position consultants to meet both present and future needs by ensuring that every team member possesses the high bar of data fluency required to engage in meaningful, productive work — and deliver superior solutions to clients.

Want to learn more? Download “Raising the Bar for Professional Services” for a look at the hard data skills you’ll need to create a truly data-driven consultancy.


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