In previous posts and other writing I have predicted that in time management consulting will play an increasing role in the wider insights ecosystem (encompassing traditional MR plus social media research, neuromarketing, prediction markets, mass simulation gaming, etc.)
IBM’s purchase of SPSS (for $1.2 Billion!) was the initial spark to my thinking. After all, IBM is already heavily engaged in business consulting. And everyone has heard of the Smarter Planet concept. Most observers took the SPSS purchase as a bold move into predictive analytics, but I believe this was a more transformative purchase and a signal of where business consultancies are headed.
An even clearer signal is the formation of NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey. When Nielsen and McKinsey join forces, it is worth examining. Nielsen has the social media measurement prowess (BuzzMetrics) and McKinsey obviously has the business consulting brand.
A pattern is emerging.
Management-business consulting is clearly moving into the insights ecosystem in order to strengthen its core consulting offering by gaining proficiency with the analysis of new information flows (whether it is existing company data or open source social media data).
I cant think of a reason why this pattern won’t continue. The data inside and around companies continues to expand geometrically. There is strategic value in this data.
Insights ecosystem beware. Resistance (may) be futile. You (may) be assimilated.