Harvard Business Review conducted a study on 758 Boston Consulting Group consultants – and here’s how ChatGPT 4 impacted their work performance:
- Consultants using AI were significantly more productive as they completed 12.2% more tasks on average and completed tasks 25.1% more quickly
- Consultants across the skills distribution benefited significantly from having AI augmentation, with those below the average performance threshold increasing by 43% and those above increasing by 17% compared to their own scores.
- For a task selected to be outside the frontier, however, consultants using AI were 19 percentage points less likely to produce correct solutions compared to those without AI.
The benefits of using Generative AI to assist consultants are pretty clear – it indeed helps improve performance for well-defined tasks. For consulting tasks that involve ‘innovative or creative thinking’ – you can use it as a tool or assistant but should rely on human expertise to arrive at optimal solutions.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to learn a new tool to improve your work performance. Hence, in this guide, we share real-world examples and use cases of Generative AI for the consulting industry.
- How Generative AI enables consulting professionals
- Real examples of consulting companies using Generative AI for their operations
- 5 must-know ChatGPT prompts to improve productivity for consultants
- Tools that enable consultants to use Generative AI in daily workflows
8 Generative AI use cases for consultants to enhance productivity
Generative AI is already impacting multiple business operational tasks across sales, communications, marketing, engineering, legal and contracting activities, and more. Here’s an infographic by Ernst and Young that depicts various areas where Generative AI is impacting work:
When businesses know that Generative AI can reduce workload across many organizational departments, it makes sense for consultants to understand deeply the various business use cases and their implementation strategy to serve their clients better.
Here are five major ways in which consultants can use Generative AI for better client servicing:
1. Distill market trends, analyze data, or summarize reports
Generative AI is capable of summarizing content, performing data analysis, and generating actionable insights.
For example, ChatGPT is capable of analyzing PDF documents to make it easy to search, interpret, or summarize content. Simply paste the URL link to PDF and write a prompt adding instructions. You do not need to upload a PDF or copy-paste the content. Thus managers and analysts can easily consume data analysis reports, internal documents, or work submissions by teams.
Top five Generative AI tools for consultants that will help you work with data and analyze it:
- Akkio helps you add predictive modeling and analytics to your services. Using this, you can help your customers chat with data to perform tasks like creating charts, performing data analysis, forecasting trends, and more.
- Sheet AI helps you access ChatGPT features within Google Sheets. You can generate content, use Dall-E inside Google Sheets, populate data, and much more.
- Einstein GPT by Salesforce can help consultants analyze customer data. For example, it will help you predict the likelihood of a lead converting into a sale and prioritize your tasks accordingly.
- Kadoa helps extract web data using AI fo websites that do not have API access.
- Athenic AI is a business intelligence analytics tool that allows you to chat with your data by asking questions to get insights.
2. Scenario modelling
Scenario modeling involves conceptualizing plausible stories about the problem statement provided. For this, LLM models like ChatGPT help analyze a situation in the prompt, data points, or news. For example, I provided ChatGPT with context and specific questions to help me generate various possibilities:
Imagine a situation where using artificial intelligence becomes mandatory for creating and reviewing contracts worldwide. What do you think would be the impact on various businesses and how they operate and negotiate with each other?
Here’s the response:
Using the chain of thought prompting methods, you can dig deeper with ChatGPT to create more detailed plausible stories and generate scenarios. You can share more detailed prompts by making ChatGPT think deeper with more data points.
Top five Generative AI tools for consultants to help with scenario modeling:
- AI Consulting Tools has a host of features specifically designed for the consulting industry to help with business analysis.
- Darrow AI helps detect any legal violations by scanning public data across social media, forums, news, etc. It also helps you set up the case and draws insights from the available data.
- SciSummary helps summarize key information and insights from scientific articles reports, and research papers.
- Perplexity AI is an AI search engine that helps you search complex questions in a chatbot-like interface.
- Essense helps with competition analysis and analyzes customer feedback to improve customer engagement and product adoption.
3. Perform ideation and decision-making
Consulting teams frequently carry out brainstorming sessions to come up with fresh ideas for their problem statements. Generative AI or ChatGPT can help overcome mental roadblocks by generating ideas faster and fueling analysts’ flow of thinking.
Here is an example of how we shared a hypothetical business problem statement for a B2B SaaS company facing a subscriber churn problem. It shared 15 ideas to tackle the problem statement mentioned. The more information you provide in your prompt, the better it output it will generate.
When you find a suitable idea to work on, you can simply ask ChatGPT to expand it further. You can explore ‘chain of thought prompting‘ to learn more about digging deeper with ChatGPT for ideation.
Top five Generative AI tools for consultants for ideation:
- Validator AI for validating business ideas and getting mentored by AI for your startup. This tool can help consultants brainstorm and ideate about their business solutions.
- Seenapse to generate unique and creative ideas. It can help you perform analysis to generate divergent ideas from various perspectives.
- Synthetic Users can help you perform user research with AI participants to make decisions and identify risks.
- Userdoc for generating user personas and creating user journeys based on your requirements
- Rationale is a tool that will help you make decisions for anything indecisive plaguing your work based on input data.
4. Client engagement
ChatGPT can help prepare for an interview, decide questions for the interviewee, or interview subject matter experts for writing business cases. Here’s a useful and quick prompt for getting some ideas for the questions:
Create 15 interview questions for [ADD NAME], who is being interviewed for a [ADD TOPIC] survey that aims to help [ADD REASONING]. Here’s the LinkedIn – [ADD RELEVANT PROFILE INFORMATION]
It is also possible to use AI Chatbots to help onboarded clients get status updates or instant solutions from AI virtual assistants. Generative AI tools can work with your internal data about clients to quickly generate reports to share with clients on demand.
5. Expansion of services offered
Generative AI is enabling many to create custom apps and services using their APIs. For example, indie makers have built wrappers on top of GPT to launch many niche tools that make using Generative AI accessible to the masses. People have started to publish resources to learn prompt engineering, tools marketplaces, AI consulting agencies, and much more.
Consultancies can also join this bandwagon to create internal products for their clients. They can gain a competitive edge by offering AI consulting for business process optimization and transforming their workflows on how they design and deliver their services.
For example – Accenture now helps enterprises adopt Generative AI technology for their business operations as a part of its new offer.
Image Source: Accenture
6. Continuous learning and improvement
Generative AI can facilitate employee onboarding and training within your consulting organization. It is possible to leverage historical data and improve various internal consulting frameworks implemented for clients. Such measures help you stay relevant to market trends and keep pace with rapidly changing technology.
It also takes search within the internal knowledge base to the next level – one can simply share prompts to further improve search results to get the desired output. means, it is more contextual and can generate new content based on existing resources. Such capabilities reduce content production time. Generative AI also makes it possible to generate personalized content or learning journeys for training purposes. It is possible to generate audio, video, or text content that caters uniquely to the consultant to help them train as per their understanding.
For the consulting industry – knowledge management is key to improving their output capabilities. Generative AI makes it intelligent such that learning resources can be deployed continuously rather than intermittently.
7. Presentation slide copywriting
For MS PowerPoint users, Microsoft 365 Copilot is a handy tool that directly helps add copy to your prepared slides. You can create a prompt to make the slide template and integrate it with MS Teams or other MS Office tools.
Image Source: Microsoft blog
Top Generative AI presentation tools for consultants include:
- Plus AI
- MagicSlides or SlidesAI add-on for Google Slides
- Canva’s magic design feature
ChatGPT is great for brainstorming content ideas or editing your written copy to adjust tone or readability. Here’s a prompt you can try:
Create a 10-slide pitch deck slide for an AI-based reading app for its seed round. The slide should follow the format specified by Y Combinator [https://www.ycombinator.com/library/2u-how-to-build-your-seed-round-pitch-deck]. The problem our reading app solves is that we use AI to understand your reading style and your daily mobile usage and set up a schedule to make sure you at least read the number of pages you wish to target.
The more detailed your prompt is, the better results you will achieve.
8. Editing and general productivity
ChatGPT is great for correcting grammar, making content concise, editing content to change its tone, writing shorter sentences, and much more. Here’s a simple prompt you can try to improve your content’s readability:
Rewrite the below content to align its readability to the Grade-8 level. Make the sentences concise without changing the overall meaning of the paragraphs.
It can also help you respond to an email or help you interpret it better. You can simply add the email text and it will draft an appropriate response for you.
Consulting work involves multiple communication channels via meetings, asynchronous work, emails, and chats on workplace messenger tools.
Top five Generative AI tools for consultants that help streamline communication
- Fireflies AI or TL;DV helps record meetings, transcribe them, share meeting insights, collaborate, etc.
- Email Magic AI helps you write emails and generate responses in any language.
- The Gist AI helps you work seamlessly via its unified communications browser powered by AI assistants.
- Convers AI adapts to your language and style of messaging to help you respond on time.
- Checklist helps you manage your checklists, standard operating procedures, processes, and more.
5 real examples of consulting firms using Generative AI to improve consulting practices
Here’s how top consulting firms across the Globe are implementing Generative AI for their service offerings, internal productivity, or client workflows:
1. How McKinsey is using Generative AI?
McKinsey has started to offer AI consultancy under its ‘Quantum Black‘ initiative. Under this, they enable organizations with ‘hybrid intelligence’ using Generative AI tools, assets, and solutions. There are three specific areas where the Quantum Black team helps:
- Artificial Intelligence: helps organizations choose the right technology and people and scale their AI adoption.
- Data Transformation: enables organizations to set up infrastructure and processes to get the most out of their data.
- Internet Of Things: helps implement solutions and build products to connect the digital and physical world using IoT technology.
It has also launched ‘Lilli by McKinsey‘ – a tool for McKinsey’s internal teams to leverage its vast knowledge base for streamlined search and synthesis of insights. It helps its employees answer a simple question – What can we learn from someone who’s done this before? One has to type their prompt, and Lilli scans both McKinsey’s knowledge base and external sources to summarize key insights, source relevant links, and identify experts within teams for more information.
Lilli will play an important role in how McKinsey works and delivers its solutions in the new era of Generative AI. Here’s an example of how McKinsey’s employees use Lilli for their workplace productivity:
“I use Lilli to look for weaknesses in our argument and anticipate questions that may arise,” he says. “I also use it to tutor myself on new topics and make connections between different areas on my projects. It saves up to 20 percent of my time preparing for meetings, but more importantly, it improves the quality of my expertise and my contributions.”Adi Pradhan, Associate Partner at McKinsey – source
Recently, McKinsey, with its data assets and knowledge, has also partnered with Salesforce’s CRM capabilities with Einstein and Data Cloud where they will help clients adopt Generative AI for marketing, sales, service, and commerce.
2. How is KPMG using Generative AI?
KPMG has partnered with Microsoft Azure and OpenAI to invest for the next 5 years to enable their clients to experience AI-enabled professional services. It is also an early access partner for Microsoft’s 365 CoPilot to empower more than 250,000 global KPMG employees towards productivity. It will help them serve 2500+ join clients of KPMG and Microsoft to adopt innovative Generative AI technologies to keep pace with the market trends.
“We have a real opportunity to apply this next generation of AI to help transform every industry, including professional services. Our expanded partnership with KPMG will bring together AI innovation across the Microsoft Cloud with KPMG’s tax, audit, and advisory expertise to empower its employees and unlock insights for its customers.”Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft
An example of this includes the release of ‘Audit Pilot‘ for their tax consultants. KMPG tax professionals can enable their clients to leverage Generative AI ‘virtual assistants’ to collect tax data, perform guided analysis, create reports, and much more.
Recently, KPMG Australia launched KymChat – its Generative AI CoPilot which securely uses client data to help KPMG employees provide the best solutions to the clients. Australian organizations can adopt their version of KymChat within their organization.
“Businesses struggle to find a clear starting point to pilot AI within their organization. They are looking for a safe and secure enterprise AI solution that complies with Australia’s privacy settings. We are excited to be able to launch KPMG KymChat as a cost-effective means for clients to fast-track their AI projects and give their people a safe-to-use generative AI platform.”John Munnelly, Chief Digital Officer at KPMG, Source: KPMG Press Release
3. How PwC is using Generative AI?
PwC is investing $1 billion in the coming three years to upgrade and scale its AI capabilities across internal operations and client delivery under ‘The New Equation’. For this, it has partnered with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to build new products and services.
That’s why the US firm will also be making investments in upskilling all 65,000 people as part of My+ to give them the skills they need for a world that is increasingly being shaped by AI.PwC announcement blog
Such investments in workforce productivity aim to reduce manual work so that consultants can focus on tasks that require their expertise and attention. For example, its internal ChatPwC is a chat-based assistant tool that will help its employees in their taxation and audit tasks. Here, PwC is treating itself as ‘client no. 0’ to adopt Generative AI trained on its intellectual property data. Some results they achieved with their clients include:
- Identifying regulatory text classification is correct approximately 80-95% of the time.
- Reduction in policy review time by 50%
- Approximate 78% accuracy in Inclusion Exclusion criteria generation. This task had no automation provisions before.
- Reduction in the number of hours to summarize texts and create marketing content as a starting point.
- Generation of pre-authorization letters in healthcare where they have estimated to save around 70% of their time spent.
4. How Deloitte is using Generative AI?
Deloitte has partnered with Google Cloud to use their Generative AI studio capabilities to service their enterprise clients. They will build innovative business applications to improve their existing processes and upgrade the current tool stack. Enterprises remain late adopters of Generative AI tools as many other industries have adopted the same for their workflows. Deloitte aims
Deloitte’s Generative AI practice will advise clients as they navigate the transformative impacts of this disruptive technology and help them plan, build, implement, and operationalize solutions built on the leading Foundation Models.Deloitte announcement blog
Their ‘Generative AI Practice’ includes a Generative AI Market Incubator whose selected engineers will design proof of concepts, pilot programs, MVPS, and demos for training ‘Foundation Models’. They will also work with ‘Deloitte AI Academy’ to address the skills gap across prompt engineering and developing AI models.
5. How Ernst and Young (EY) is using Generative AI?
Ernst and Young provides AI consulting services under EY.ai. It has partnered with IBM watsonx Orchestrate to help human resources teams perform routine tasks like writing job descriptions under the EY.ai Workforce offer.
One example is our EY payroll. There’s a whole series of questions that people ask about payroll, particularly when people are overseas and have questions about which tax filings they should file. So we loaded all the payroll tax laws into a generative AI system sitting on top of one of the mega-platforms. Then we’re able to query those payroll questions directly in a chat function like ChatGPT instead of answering with people who are not working 7-by-24. That is still an early beta experiment for us, but the time returns and the accuracy increases are quite significant.Jeff Wong (CIO at EY) in an interview with Quartz
4 risks consultants should be aware of before implementing Generative AI-based solutions for clients
Many large organizations and small-medium enterprises will knock on the doors of business consultants to help them implement Generative AI technology. This means, as consultants, you will indeed have some responsibility in how GenAI technology gets adopted, establish ethical standards on usage, and also how it impacts jobs for the current global workforce.
Here are four key considerations before you choose to implement Generative AI solutions for clients:
Consider if the client can truly benefit from Generative AI solutions
Not every organization might be ready to implement Generative AI or may lack the necessary digitization to adopt the same. Hence, consider if Generative AI is truly a right fit for your client such that it becomes an enabler and not an unnecessary disrupter of daily work.
Ensure there are no drastic job cuts
Ensure your consultation considers a gradual shift to using Generative AI to improve to assist existing workflows. Create upskilling opportunities or conduct workshops with employees so that they can become more productive using Generative AI tools.
Be careful about GenAI’s pace of adoption
It is important to consider the pace of adoption of Generative AI tools into existing operational workflows. Adequate training is essential to make sure the change in workflows is intuitive and truly helps the employees improve their productivity. For this, consider the pace of adoption of Generative AI for your clients.
Ethics on usage of data
The data on which any Generative AI model is implemented should not contain biased data inputs, sensitive information, or infringe any copyrights. As consultants, you must ensure solutions recommended to businesses adhere to various rights, regulations, and laws around data to ensure ethical implementation. Also, Generative AI is a good liar – which means that it can frame its responses without fact-checking or aligning with the correct concepts. Your consulted solution must not lead to your clients using fake data for their business.
How to mitigate the risks of adopting Generative AI for consulting workflows?
Generative AI is still an evolving technology – and with more new companies starting to compete with OpenAI, Google, or xAI, we will see faster growth and adoption. Consultants need to consider below measures to make sure their investment in Generative AI yields positive output:
Share best practices and transparent reporting of AI implementation
Consultancies should share their insights on implementing Generative AI with each other. It is also possible to collaborate with research organizations to publish reports on the impact of Generative AI solutions within consultancies and the next steps. Doing so helps form ethical frameworks that could become industry standards. Other consultancies can align their implementation practices so that everyone can service their clients ethically and practically.
Investing in AI security and risk management initiatives
Consultancies should invest in security and risk management technology or initiatives to ensure their client data and interactions remain secure while deploying Generative AI for their clients. Organizing hackathons and bug bounty initiatives helps bring transparency and a collaborative atmosphere to reduce overall vulnerability in implementing Generative AI solutions.
Regular participation in research to track the impact of AI
While implementing Generative AI responsibly is important, it is also necessary to track its actual impact on operations, jobs, and overall society. Generative AI solutions must not hold any kind of societal or cultural bias in their outputs, violate privacy, or infringe copyrights. Thus, consultancies should collaborate to participate in impact research to understand how their usage of Generative AI tools is impacting work quality and align to best practices in case of deviations.
How to get started with Generative AI for consulting – next steps
On tracking the consulting industry news and how Big 4 is adopting Generative AI – many have chosen the ‘AI Co-Pilot’ way to get started. They are partnering with leading AI service providers like Microsoft Azure OpenAI Services, IBM, or Google to leverage internal client data and intellectual property to automate manual tasks.
If you’re considering adopting Generative AI tools for your internal operational workflows, here are some next steps to consider:
- Train your team to understand the basics of Generative AI and the risks that come with implementation.
- Identify opportunities and use cases to automate existing work using Generative AI. From these use cases, it is better to highlight the ones that involve the usage of client data or intellectual property.
- Choose suitable Generative AI tools as per the use case and optimize your operational workflow accordingly. Make sure they align with your compliance and data security measures.
- Decide KPIs to track before and after implementing the Generative AI into the chosen workflow.
- Start small by training small teams to use the Generative AI tools for smaller projects. Collect feedback, measure chosen KPIs, and keep iterating to improve results.
- Prepare reports, discuss insights, and make decisions if Generative AI is truly improving your consulting workflows or not. Share knowledge with other teams and people in the industry to ensure responsible adoption.
- Educate your client and communicate with them about your Generative AI adoption for their projects and the results achieved.
How are you using Generative AI for your consultancy firm?
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