KPMG recently held a day-long event focused on workforce transformation consulting and data analytics, connecting research analysts with global practice leaders and leading academics from the Data Science Institute at London’s Imperial College. We were treated to an inside view of the KPMG Data Observatory on the college’s campus in downtown London, after which we journeyed over to KPMG’s Insights Centre at Canary Wharf for an introduction to new consulting initiatives and agency-style service delivery capabilities.
While I have been covering KPMG’s evolution in talent and workforce consulting for more than five years, the event underscored the integrity of a long-term growth strategy fueled by capital investments to help organizations reconcile the convergence of human and digital labor using advanced data and analytics. Mark Spears, KPMG’s Global Head of People and Change consulting, was passionate when he spoke about how organizations are sleepwalking into the future and need to take a more strategic look at workforce management: “The challenge will become even more acute, because workforce management is no longer just about labor supply and demand. Business leaders need to rethink the relationship between the organization, its technology and people, and the greater society in which they operate.”
KPMG was justifiably proud of how far it has come, but also humble about the need to continually evolve in the face of clients’ increasing expectations that consultants deliver real business outcomes, not just flashy digital tools and data displays. Maz Hussain, KPMG’s Director of Digital and Innovation, was quite clear that work conducted in the Data Observatory leans towards the development of Tools for Tasks, meaning solutions design is specific to a client challenge rather than an attempt to solve for a generalized market need. He further explained that data visualization is essential to this process because it has the power to elicit an emotional response that prompts clients towards meaningful action, which has always been a top priority of KPMG’s service delivery model.
The Data Observatory was clearly a source of excitement and momentum for KPMG, but it was one of several factors that ALM believes will define KPMG’s market position in workforce transformation consulting over the next few years:
In just over three years, KPMG has achieved a meaningful milestone with the integration of an asset-led growth plan into its consulting DNA. During the analyst event, the firm shared numerous client case examples that indicate a positive reception in the marketplace and growing demand for its approach to workforce management. In this regard, KPMG shares first-mover advantage with a very small set of providers in the workforce transformation consulting space. The firm’s challenge will be to enhance its competitive lead by scaling services beyond a UK-centric hub, iterating the innovations of its Data Observatory for faster delivery, and developing a robust set of industry-specific, data-based assets to use with foo-castr.