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Data collection/Fieldwork

data Market research
New answer on Oct 15, 2023
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 09, 2018

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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Content Creator
replied on Oct 15, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


This is an interesting question.

Ultimately in consulting the mindset is to deliver the best outcome for the client.

  • If we need data as part of that answer, then the data needs to be obtained / created
  • Is it the most value add part of your life to do something mundane like this? The answer is no
  • Is it possible to outsource this to research assistants? theoretically yes
  • Does your case have enough budget/policy that allows you to do this? If the answer is no, then you have to do it, because it needs to get done

Hope this helps to clarify

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updated an answer on Aug 09, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

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


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Lukas on Aug 09, 2018

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.


replied on Aug 09, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


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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Benjamin gave the best answer


Content Creator
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer
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