Bringing Big Data & Data Analytics to small to medium sized accounting firms
During October I presented at an annual conference of a network of small to medium sized firms specialising in accounting, audit, tax and business consultancy. The network covers 290 offices in 100 countries. The setting for the conference, impressively, was in the heart of Rome. I gave a 40 minute presentation which gave an overview of Big Data and Data Analytics. I also ran a two hour workshop which focused on the data analytics related opportunities that might be plausible for the member firms to take to market. Having given the presentation and run the workshop I came away with three key reflections.
Firstly, there is great enthusiasm for data analytics but the offerings that can be taken to market for clients of the network is not immediately obvious and requires some time for formulation and market testing.
Secondly, the extent of knowledge and expertise in data analytics in small to medium sized firms of this nature varies but generally is quite limited.
Thirdly, there is a feeling that the limited data analytics resources can have an impact on their ability to gain larger clients who may lean more towards Big Four accounting firms who generally have quite deep data analytics expertise. While I was there I networked with many of the attendees and raised the profile of DataConsulting and assured them that DataConsulting working in partnership with the network could fill any data analytics voids that thy might experience whilst undertaking day to day engagements.
I had visited Rome in August when temperatures were in the high 30’s. Rome in October is certainly a pleasant place to be with temperatures in the mid 20’s.