Big consulting firms are looking more and more like software companies -- particularly when it comes to analytics applications. The latest example involves Accenture Analytics Applications Platform -- upon which Accenture has built four new software applications for retailers and manufacturers.

They include:

  • Trade Marketing Impact Measurement – Measures the impact trade marketing efforts have on sales by generating analytics insights on activities, such as promotions, based on sales history, product volume and activity frequency, Accenture indicated.
  • Trade Marketing Activities Optimization – Provides data-driven recommendations on the trade marketing activities that can deliver positive future results, Accenture said.
  • Demand Forecast – Delivers accurate item forecasts based on a forecasting methodology built on the life cycle of the product and product data. The insights allow users to determine the optimal size of stock needed to reduce delivery times while keeping stocks at a reasonable level, the consulting firm stated.
  • Fraud Detection – Identifies fraud risk and behavior that can result in business losses, Accenture said.

Accenture built its analytics business through home-grown software and services, plus the i4C Analytics acquisition from May 2014. The company now has 19 analytics applications for the retail, financial services, utilities and telecommunications industries, Accenture indicated.
Numerous consulting firms -- names like AccentureCapgeminiErnst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among many other names -- now have deep analytical capabilities.

Many of those firms cut their teeth in the IT market decades ago -- helping customers to deploy ERP and enterprise systems from Oracle, SAP and others. But amid the shift to cloud computing, traditional IT outsourcing and project work have become far more competitive markets. Plus, many customers are now seeking to make data-driven decisions across their businesses. For those reasons and others, the consulting firms have made major big data and analytics moves.

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