Submitted by Stephen Gossett on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 09:02
Separating the signal from the noise is tough work in the era of big data. These 20 consultancies have the managerial and technological chops to help businesses see more clearly.

Making sense of the enormous size, speed and variety of data available to businesses is often likened to drowning in an ocean or drinking from a fire hose. Regardless of one’s preferred aquatic metaphor, one thing is clear: the challenge isn't whether businesses can collect vast amounts of information, but how they can glean useful droplets of wisdom from those data downpours. That’s where big data consulting firms come in.

These consultancies are where MBAs meet IT — it's their job to incorporate the right data technologies for a given business along with providing meaningful management advice. That involves a lot of subcategories: data warehousing (the actual storage), data analysis (statistical and visual analysis of data), data governance (maintaining the security and integrity of data) and data science (procuring the actual actionable insights, sometimes with the aid of machine learning).

Like all once-emerging technologies, big data has seen its stock vacillate considerably. Data science has gone from being “the sexiest job of the 21st century” to widely eulogized. But if the recent multi-billion-dollar acquisitions of data software startup Looker and dataviz leader Tableau by Google and Salesforce, respectively, are any indication, those rumors of the field's demise appear to be greatly exaggerated.

Here are 20 big data consulting firms helping businesses make smarter data-based decisions.

 

analytics8 big data consulting firms
Analytics8

Analytics8

Location: Chicago, Illinois

What it does: As a data and analytics consultancy, Analytics8 helps companies translate their data into meaningful and actionable information. From data strategy to implementation, they’ve helped over 650 companies apply analytics to drive their decision making. Notable enterprise clients include lager-providers-to-the-masses AB InBev, which slashed logistics reporting from hours or days down to minutes, thanks to a Qlik Sense data model and dashboard designed by Analytics8.

 

spins llc big data consulting firms
SPINS

SPINS

Location: San Francisco, California

What it does: If you scanned only, say, a Forbes list of top big data management consultancies, you’d be forgiven for thinking the field is full of niche-unfriendly tech conglomerates. Not so. Take SPINS, which focuses squarely on wellness-related data to help brands and retailers who work with natural and organic products. It recently expanded a partnership with market researchers IRI to help health-centric companies glean insights from label and ingredients information.

 

boston consulting group big data consulting firms
Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

What it does: Founded in 1963, this firm ranks among the longest-tenured on this list, but its management insights go far beyond coaching-skills and strategy-development traditionalism. Case in point: BCG GAMMA, the data science wing of Boston Consulting Group that employs artificial intelligence to analyze data. This subsidiary has shepherded a telecom company to a whopping $10 billion in savings by leveraging data ahead of its broadband development, according to Boston Consulting Group. It also purportedly used information analyzed from a retailer’s customer loyalty program to increase that company's profits by 50 percent.

 

slalom big data consulting firms
Slalom Consulting

Slalom Consulting

Location: Seattle, Washington

What it does: Slalom’s project pool runs deep and wide, from applying machine learning to medical data in efforts to battle breast cancer to developing an app that helps eliminate noxious and harmful weeds. But it’s all rooted in data: Thousands of Slalom’s consultants in a dozen-plus cities help businesses organize and interpret that data using cloud and data architecture, visualization, product engineering and artificial intelligence.

 

logic20/20 big data consulting firms
Logic20/20

Logic20/20

Location: Seattle, Washington

What it does: Big data has proven, well, instructive in the education sector. Institutions are turning to large-scale data analytics to improve everything from college choice counseling to student survey responses. Logic20/20 helps all kinds of organizations and businesses, but its consulting work in the Pacific Northwest is emblematic of that fruitful intersection between data and education. The Advanced AWS partner has cleaned up data storage and diversity spending reporting for the University of Washington. It has also improved data warehousing and business intelligence for Walla Walla University.

 

trianz big data consulting firms
Trianz

Trianz

Location: Santa Clara, California

What it does: While this IT consulting firm offers a variety of digital services for businesses, from cloud security to infrastructure management, it’s recognized as a leader in data analytics. Trianz — which acquired business analytics heavyweight CBIG Consulting last year — consults with businesses on marketing, sales, social media, human resources and finance analytics. It also partners with some of the leading data analysis and cloud-based warehousing platforms (Looker, Tableau, Snowflake, INVIDIA).

 

caserta big data consulting firms
Caserta

Caserta

Location: New York, New York

What it does: This warehouse architect and BI management firm has helped streamline datasets for industry leaders ranging from pizza (Domino’s) to print news (The New York Times). For The Grey Lady, Caserta centralized a mess of data that was scattered across numerous centers onto the cloud. But the firm might be most prominent in the financial sector. The Liberty Mutual and Bank of America service provider recently launched a tool that allows banking and investment outfits to build or fine-tune platforms that maximize alpha returns by interpreting data.

 

cognizant big data consulting firms
Cognizant

Cognizant

Location: Teaneck, New Jersey

What it does: Nearly everything. This Fortune 500 corporation stretches hydra-like across industries, including business process outsourcing, digital marketing, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, IT and more. To keep the machine humming, Cognizant employs complex, predictive AI analytics and cloud migration services for the dozens of companies under its umbrella of acquisitions and beyond.

 

saama big data consulting firms
Saama

Saama

Location: Campbell, California

What it does: Industries turn to big data consultancies for more than just the bottom line. The healthcare sector has latched onto big data to aid everything from cancer research and disease detection to public health and pharmaceutical R&D. One of the most notable firms in clinical data consulting right now is Saama. The multinational business counts Hortonworks, Google Cloud Platform and Cloudera among partners and biotech researchers Actelion and Gilead among clients. It analyzes data (structured and unstructured) to help streamline drug development, sometimes using newly integrated AI capabilities.

 

cervello big data consulting firms
Cervello

Cervello

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

What it does: A partner with Tableau, Birst, Amazon Web Services and other high-profile data platforms, this business analytics adviser is notable for its multi-pronged, holistic approach, which includes aspects of CRM, cloud computing and business intelligence. It will soon be rebranded as “Cervello, an A.T. Kearney company,” after the nearly century-old consultancy dynamo Kearney scooped it up earlier this year.

 

pluto7 big data consulting firms
Pluto7

Pluto7

Location: San Jose, California

What it does: AI is becoming an increasingly common presence in the big data advisory world. Pluto7, which recently bumped up its Google Cloud partnership to Premier status, applies machine learning to historical data for marketing, sales and supply chain optimization, particularly in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology arenas. A notable example: The firm ran a host of data through its natural language processing application, ultimately slashing clinical trial processing time by three-quarters.

 

designmind big data consulting firms
DesignMind

DesignMind

Location: San Francisco, California

What it does: This wide-ranging firm traffics in everything from mobile app development to technical staffing to database consulting. DesignMind also looms large in big data analytics. It’s versed in Hadoop, Apache and AWS. It maintains an enviable roster of partners, including Microsoft, Cloudera, MapR, Snowflake and more. DesignMind has also helped a diverse roster of clients like Jamba Juice, Intuit and Kendall-Jackson wines incorporate cloud-based data storage and analytics.

 

enquero big data consulting firms
Enquero

Enquero

Location: Milpitas, California

What it does: This Silicon Valley-based digital engineering/management consulting firm has offices worldwide. Its software development center in Lafayette, Louisiana serves as something of a pipeline from UL-Lafayette’s Center for Visual and Decision Informatics. Enquero’s products include enterprise data hubs, cloud-based change management and large-scale legal entity management.

 

latentview big data consulting firms
LatentView Analytics

LatentView Analytics

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

What it does: Although based in the Northeast, this data consulting powerhouse is flourishing in India, where the country’s tech-forward Digital India initiative and early adoption of data analytics among private equity firms and VC investors reportedly has helped fuel growth. LatentView’s custom and pre-built platforms run the gamut from dataviz to machine learning, including a just-launched conversational analytics AI that hopscotches multiple domains to un-silo previously isolated data.

 

absolutdata big data consulting firms
AbsolutData

AbsolutData

Location: Alameda, California

What it does: AI is plenty hyped, but this big data consultancy’s NAVIK AI suite — tailored for sales, marketing, research or trade promotion — has walked the talk in its four-year lifespan, gathering laurels and numerous Fortune 100 clients. The grist that “teaches” the machine includes AbsolutData’s client-tailored data warehouses and lakes and near-real-time analytics software.

 

blast analytics and marketing big data consulting firms
Blast Analytics & Marketing

Blast Analytics & Marketing

Location: Rocklin, California

What it does: The biggest concern about data is privacy, and that's especially true when the government is involved. If you’ve ever signed up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov, you’ve seen Blast's handiwork — particularly the extra Tealium-enabled privacy options it recommended. The company also brings that judiciousness to the private sector, consulting in retail (The North Face), health care (Kaiser Permanente), finance (Wells Fargo), travel (Hertz) and tech (PayPal).

 

cloudwick big data consulting firms
Cloudwick

Cloudwick

Location: Newark, California

What it does: When companies implement data upgrades, they must decide whether those enhanced capabilities will be housed on-premises, cloud-hosted, or both (the increasingly popular hybrid system). Cloudwick helps clients — including data-drenched companies like Bank of America, Comcast and Walmart — engineer and administer any of the above options. And it recently expanded a long-running collaboration with APM outfit Pepperdata to help big-boy enterprises migrate and measure big data to the cloud or hybrids.

 

captech big data consulting firms
CapTech

CapTech

Location: Richmond, Virginia

What it does: Comprehensiveness is a must in big data consulting, as most client asks go beyond mere data storage or analytics measurement. CapTech fits the bill with data architecture, science, engineering, visualization and governance. Additional services cover such things as brand identity and natural language processing. Notable clients include power company Dominion Energy, which recruited CapTech to help keep up with and make sense of voluminous data from its new smart meters.

 

rock your data big data consulting firms
Rock Your Data

Rock Your Data

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

What it does: These end-to-end advisers guide businesses on all things data: business intelligence platforms (should you go with Looker or Tableau?), data warehousing (Redshift or Snowflake?), ETL (Azure Glue or Factory?) and everything in between. Rock Your Data's clients get industry-standard cloud vendor options (AWS, Azure Cloud, Google Cloud Platform) and access to leading software partners.

 

experfy big data consulting firms
Experify

Experify

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

What it does: Not a consulting firm per se, Experify is essentially an Upwork for big data projects. The freelance marketplace, which the Harvard Innovation Labs cultivated during the company’s startup days, connects independent data experts with clients who want to sidestep the traditional consulting route. Experify — which also counts AI and IoT experts among its freelance pool — markets to mid-tier businesses for which the expense and long-term contractual nature of a traditional firm might not be the best fit. But it does plenty of work with major outfits, too, including a recently announced partnership with Deloitte that gives the Big Four accounting firm premium access to Experify's top analytics talent.

Images via Shutterstock, social media and screenshots of company web pages.

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