Oliver Wyman establishes Big Data unit: OW Labs

26 September 2014 Consultancy.uk

Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman has recently launched ‘Oliver Wyman Labs’ – a research unit that helps clients unleash the power of data through the blended application of strategy, analytics and technology. Oliver Wyman Labs will be led by the experienced partners Paul Beswick, Colin Cobain, and Matthew Isotta.

Over the past years, Big Data has developed into one of the key strategic focus areas for companies. At the same time, companies are struggling with keeping up with the pace of the data explosion – currently over 2.5 million terabytes of data is created each day – and as a result they are anxiously seeking manners to improve the way they manage their information capital.

Oliver Wyman - Big Data

For consulting firms, Big Data represents a lucrative growth and service opportunity – according to analyst firm Kennedy, the field is one of the largest growing segments in the global consulting market. To better service clients and capture a share of the pie, consultants have been bundling their digital capabilities across expertise areas (e.g. strategy, sales & marketing, technology, design) into specialised ‘Digital’ units. Deloitte was one of the first to establish Deloitte Digital, and over the past months several rivals have followed, including the likes of Accenture (Accenture Digital), Capco (Capco Digital), McKinsey (McKinsey Digital) and PwC (PwC Digital Services). 

Now also Oliver Wyman, a global consultancy with 50+ offices in 25 countries, has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of ‘Oliver Wyman Labs’. The new unit will, according to the management consultancy, support clients with unleashing the power of the information they already have or could capture, essentially driving competitive advantage and sustained impact. Oliver Wyman Labs will offer four main service offerings:

Oliver Wyman - Main Service Offerings

- advanced analytics on very large/complex data sets to create new insights and understanding;
- the design and build of dashboard applications to boost management information;
- decision support solutions that allow companies to improve decision-making processes;
- technology solutions such as data discovery, application development and ongoing support. 

“The establishment of OW Labs as a new unit formalises a capability that Oliver Wyman has been developing over the last eight years in sectors that have been at the vanguard of using Big Data to drive business decision making, such as retail and technology,” says Scott McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman. “OW Labs is now taking those leading edge capabilities across all of the sectors and geographies we serve,” he adds.

Scott McDonald - Paul Bewick - Matthew Isotta - Colin Cobain

Oliver Wyman Labs will be led by Paul Beswick, a Boston-based partner, Matthew Isotta, a 24-year old veteran at the firm, and Colin Cobain, since 2012 partner at the consultancy and the former CIO of Tesco. “We have pioneered new approaches that combine innovative technology, consulting, and OW’s leading intellectual capital to equip our clients to make decisions better, faster and more easily,” says Isotta. OW Labs co-head Cobain adds: “The merger of high calibre consulting skills and leading technology capability allows us to deliver for our clients a quality of outcome others can only dream of.”