AI in Consulting: Innovative Opportunities and Practical Application
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most discussed and rapidly developing technologies. AI is a field of computer science that deals with the creation of smart systems capable of performing tasks that require decision-making and mental analysis, typically attributed to human intelligence. In the modern world where data is becoming more voluminous and complex, the use of AI in consulting is growing increasingly relevant, as it provides new opportunities for data analysis and processing, better trend forecasting, process optimization, and decision-making, as well as offering customers personalized recommendations.
According to PwC research, around 30 to 35% of all consultant work can be performed by AI. In their study, PwC examines the potential for AI development up to the 2030s, which can be described in three successive waves:
- The Algorithm Wave, with its goal to automate simple computational tasks and analyze structured data in areas such as finance, information and communications;
- The Expansion Wave, focusing on automating repetitive tasks such as filling out forms, communication, and information exchange with dynamic technological support and statistical analysis of unstructured data (e.g., flying unmanned aerial vehicles or overseeing robot-performed warehouse loading work). This wave is in the process of being implemented and is likely to reach full maturity in the 2020s;
- The Autonomy Wave, focusing on automation of physical labor and manipulation, as well as solving problems in dynamic real-world situations that require operational actions, for example, in the fields of production and transportation. These technologies are already under development, but can only reach full maturity when introduced on the massive scale by the 2030s.
AI Use in Analytical Consulting Processes
About 83% of companies now prioritize using AI in their strategy. Its application in analytical consulting processes plays an important role in ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of data analysis. This allows consultants to obtain better and more up-to-date information for decision-making and strategy development. Let’s consider the main ways of utilizing AI in consulting analytics: automation of data collection and processing, forecasting and trend analysis, image recognition and text analytics, as well as client clustering.
Automation of data collection and processing is becoming a key advantage that AI can provide in analytical consulting processes. Machine learning systems can efficiently collect and aggregate data from various sources, including open databases, social media, news sources, etc. AI can then perform automatic data processing, including their structuring, classification, and analysis. This significantly reduces the time and effort spent on manual data processing, while providing more accurate and comprehensive analysis results.
Forecasting and trend analysis is a prominent area for the use of AI in consulting. Using machine learning algorithms, AI is able to analyze large volumes of data to identify hidden patterns and trends. This enables consultants to predict future market changes, quickly adapt to new conditions, and make informed decisions based in facts.
Pattern recognition and text analytics are another area where AI demonstrates its power. Natural language processing and computer vision systems allow AI to analyze text and images. Consultants can use such systems to automatically identify keywords and phrases in a given text, analyze sentiment, as well as recognize image details. This allows for a deeper and more informative data analysis based on a larger amount of information.
Client clustering and segmentation. Using cluster analysis and machine learning algorithms, AI can automatically group customers into different segments based on their behavior, preferences, and characteristics. This helps consultants more accurately identify the needs of each client segment and offer personalized strategies and solutions.
AI Use in Solution Development and Recommendations
In consulting, the use of AI for developing solutions and recommendations plays a significant role in improving the efficiency and accuracy of decision-making. Let us look at the main ways of utilizing AI in this area: modeling, optimization, and decision-making based on data, process automation and recommendation personalization.
Modeling and simulations are one of the key ways to use AI in developing solutions and recommendations. With the help of computer models and machine learning algorithms, AI can simulate various scenarios and predict their results. This allows consultants to evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies and thus make better decisions.
Optimization and data-based decision–making. Using optimization algorithms and data analysis, AI can offer optimal solutions tailored to specified constraints and specific goals. This allows consultants to make informed decisions, optimize business processes, and achieve their goals with maximum efficiency.
Process automation and efficiency improvement. AI can also be used to automate routine and repetitive tasks in the process of developing solutions and recommendations. AI-guided automation systems can process large amounts of data, perform analysis, and provide accurate information and recommendations, which helps reduce the time spent on completing tasks and increase overall work efficiency.
Client personalization and recommendations. Using machine learning and data analysis algorithms, AI can adapt recommendations for every individual client based on their preferences, behavior, and characteristics. This enables consultants to provide customers with customized and specifically tailored strategies and solutions, taking their unique needs into account.
The Future of AI in Consulting
The use of AI in consulting bears huge potential and will continue to grow more prevalent in the future. Let us examine several areas that may impact the way AI will be used in consulting in the future.
The development of autonomous consulting systems is a very promising area. AI can be used to create autonomous systems that will be able to analyze data, draw conclusions, and offer solutions without the constant supervision of a human employee. Such systems will contribute to improving the efficiency and effectivity of consulting services.
AI integration with other technologies will also play a key part in its development. For example, combining AI with blockchain technology will allow for greater transparency and security in data processing and transaction execution. Additionally, AI can integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing it to collect and analyze data from various devices, opening up new consulting opportunities.
The development of neural network models is another important area. Neural networks capable of processing and analyzing data just like the human brain will become a powerful consultant tool and introduce more complex and intelligent models capable of processing unstructured data and making decisions based on a wide range of available information.
It is expected that AI will also play a pivotal role in the field of process robotics. Consultants will be able to use AI-based robotic assistants to perform routine tasks, collect data, and analyze information. This will help free up time for more strategic and creative tasks. For example, Rosbank already employs an AI to automatically process and enter customer data when opening accounts or performing banking transactions that require identity verification. AI recognizes over 70 detail types from document scans and photos for each client in only 2 seconds and performs about 15 automatic data checks.
In addition, it is assumed that AI will continue to develop in the direction of a wider scope of human interaction. Voice assistants and language processing systems will become more advance and able to interact with consultants and clients at a more natural and convenient level.
In general, the future of AI application in consulting promises to be exciting and innovative. The emergence of autonomous systems and integration with other technologies, the development of neural network models and the robotization of various processes, plus a growing number of human interaction options – all these factors will contribute to the improvement and evolution of consulting services.
However, alongside opportunities and benefits, AI development will also require extra attention to various ethical and legal aspects, as well as additional data security and confidentiality guarantees. Consultants must prepare and adapt to new technologies in order to successfully use and implement AI in their work and ensure maximum benefits for their clients.
This article examined the use of AI in consulting and its overall impact on the industry. AI provides consultants with new tools and opportunities to solve complex problems and achieve a competitive advantage. Process automation and optimization, expansion of analytical capabilities, and the incentive to innovate are just a few ways to use AI in your consulting work. The introduction of AI into consulting activities requires training and adaptation, but its advantages and sheer potential inspire optimism and promise to bring significant benefits to companies and customers alike.
At the same time, the introduction of AI requires us to more thoroughly consider a growing number of ethical, legal, and security aspects. That said, in today’s increasingly technology-oriented world, consultants who successfully use AI and other innovations will have a decisive advantage over their competition.