Why Consulting is No Longer Just a Clipboard Exercise

When you engage a consultant to help you with a business issue – what is it that you expect from them?  For us, we’d be looking for expertise; strategic insights; challenging thinking.  Someone who brings us value that does not yet exist within our business or can offer an alternative view.

What you don’t want a consultant to do is burn time compiling spreadsheets or chasing people for extracts from databases – it’s not only a waste of their skills, it’s an expensive way to undertake this kind of exercise.

At Exonar, we believe in technology enabled consulting where the skills of the consultant are amplified by the fact that they’re focusing on bringing you value, in turn giving you greater value for money.  With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) high on the agenda of many companies (and consulting firms), now is a great time to look at how technology enabled consulting works.

Consulting Approaches to Data Discovery

The Problem with Traditional Methods

A traditional consulting exercise (sometimes referred to as the ‘clipboard method’) requires multiple interviews, collection of data and compiling of reports, all of which takes up considerable amounts of time.  The output of this kind of engagement is only ever as good as the input, what the consultant has been told or can discover, and is only ever the view of a single point in time.  Engagements can become multi-year contracts which fail to keep track with the digital pace at which organisational change takes place.

How Technology Enabled Consulting Helps

By employing digital search techniques, the task of collecting data no longer becomes one that relies on an individual’s ability to search, or to ask the right questions of the right person, at the right time.  Big Data and Machine Learning enable organisations to discover data in an instant, search according to keywords and categorise data in a consistent manner.  The consultant can focus on interpreting results and delivering strategic insights knowing that the source data is accurate and the business can make well-informed decisions, faster.

No More Hidden Data

With terabytes of data on every network, it’s impossible for any one individual to know every data point that they hold.  Acquisitions, duplication, decommissioned servers and even employees leaving the company can lead to data being hidden or lost.  This kind of data could pose a risk to your business either through creating a position of non-compliance, or creating a weakness in your infrastructure that leaves you exposed to hackers or leaks.

Keep Up – Don’t Get Caught Out

With the GDPR placing a heavy responsibility on organisations to ensure they respond to all requests from individuals for information on every piece of data held about them; and specifying that they must have audit trails in place, being able to rapidly identify, classify and structure data is critical.  Given the rate at which organisations capture and use data on individuals, it would be impossible for a person (or a team of people) to keep up.  Specialist consultants will be invaluable in helping you to strategically plan for GDPR, but digital methods are vital for organisations who are serious about compliance.

Investing in the Right Places

At Exonar, we’re serious about helping organisations to achieve GDPR compliance via a technology enabled approach. Our whitepaper will tell you more or simply get in touch to discuss how.