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Data collection/Fieldwork

Anonymous A asked on Aug 09, 2018 - 2 answers

Hello, I am currently interning in a consulting firm. They are making us call competitors and relevant people to get primary data (known apparently as fieldwork).

I feel like that should be outsourced as It is not the job of consultants (besides conducting interviews with experts)

Is it standard practice for consultants to do phone calls to collect data? (I know LEK apparently do this a lot)

Also many engagements tend to be market research. Is it common practice for strat. consulting firms to only conduct market research with little strategic advice ?

Thanks a lot,

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updated his answer on Aug 09, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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Hi Anonymous,

it depends on the scale! If you need representative survey data from a large sample of calls, then by all means this should be outsourced to either support areas within the firm (e.g., at McKinsey there is an entire department spread between India and Costa Rica who specialize on surveying) or external partners. If, however, all you need is some anecdotal evidence of a certain matter, then of course it might make sense to just let a team member spend an afternoon doing such calls. Rule of thumb: if it takes more than one or two work days to accomplish, it should be better outsourced.

Cheers, Sidi


Thanks for your answer! On most engagements there are a minimum number of calls (almost above 100). This is really making me question my internship as it seems like I am more in a market research firm than a consultancy. — Lukas on Aug 09, 2018 (edited)

replied on Aug 09, 2018
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It really depends on the check for the project. When I was working for Accenture, analysts were doing a lot of primary research while at McKinsey it was the job to be done by the temporary assistants.

But you should not think that consultants are only giving the strategic advice. You will be surprised how much bureaucratic and monotonous work you have to do for the client even at MBB projects.


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