How can ‘CAT’ skills (Consulting, Analytics and Technology) improve business performance sustainably? (Part 1/2)

How can ‘CAT’ skills (Consulting, Analytics and Technology) improve business performance sustainably? (Part 1/2)

Bruno Khan is a business leader with 15+ years’ experience in strategy/operations consulting and industry. He sold and delivered multi-million GBP engagements for global multinationals, launched Big Data initiatives to generate sales, and is a Thought Leader on the impact of new technologies in Procurement and Supply Chain. He recently wrote about the importance of bringing diverse skill sets from both Business and Science & Technology to deliver sustainable value.

After a few years in Management Consulting (almost a decade ago) following an initial enriching experience both in applied research and in Science & Technology, I came to realise three points.

Firstly, business performance can be improved through better usage of data. Many companies sit on mountains of data but often don’t use it effectively. With Big Data and new technologies such as AI gaining traction, they may miss opportunities to make significantly better decisions and generate sustainable business value.

Secondly, few firms have well-designed Internal Benchmarking initiatives (programmes that use readily available internal data). These can be initiated immediately and can generate several benefits, including improved sales, lower costs, increased efficiency, and higher satisfaction. As goals are exceeded and corporate visions realised, they can even create a sense of belonging and a feeling of greater purpose.

Finally, in order to ‘make it happen’, and beyond other necessary ingredients such as the right leadership and teamwork, businesses would largely benefit from combined Consulting, Analytics and Technology (‘CAT’) skill sets. Indeed, as business and technology stakeholders often have very different backgrounds and even distinct languages, it can sometimes prove difficult to create successful multi-functional project teams. Results can be more effectively achieved by investing in people, whether training key individuals, or recruiting candidates with the right skill sets.

These three points are even more compelling today. Corporations, consulting firms and technology providers can all benefit from them. There’s no shortage of data and business improvement opportunities. However, as always, it all depends on people.

In the next post, we will dive deeper into some of these aspects by providing specific project examples of how Internal Benchmarking helped improve business performance, and identify ways to get started.

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