McKinsey Digital or BCG Gamma?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 04, 2017 - 8 answers

Hi PrepLounge,

I haven't had much luck searching on the internet, but do any of you know the difference between McKinsey Digital and BCG Gamma?
For what I know, McKinsey Digital is broader whereas BCG Gamma is the specific discipline of data science... but can you maybe support here?

Also, if you were to start in one of the places today - where would you go?
Tech/Digital is really up and coming and it seems that BCG Gamma is sort of front office Data Scientists, which seems amazingly cool. But again, I am not really sure how they compare and how technical McKinsey Digital actually is for a consultant - whether it is the same work under two different names?


8 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Julien replied on Jan 04, 2018

I don’t know any detail about McK Digital but I have a fairly good view of what BCG Gamma is: I am a data scientist there.

BGC Gamma is a virtual office within BCG. We are not a back office, we are data scientists with strategy consulting skills (more people with MSc or PhD than MBA). We are fully involved in the client relationship, participate to client meetings, steering committees etc. Some cases are 100% Gamma but we often work jointly with BCG classic (mixed case teams).

We deliver custom data science-based solutions (machine learning, numerical optimization...) to our clients to allow them to take advantage of the huge impact data analytics and AI are having on the business world: pricing optimization, personalized marketing, more dynamic logistic, etc. We create the data science models, program the software (in Python or R essentially) and deliver working solutions, not only advices and slide decks. To build those solutions we need to understand both data science and business.

Our career progression is globally align with the rest of BCG. We actually have consultants from classic BCG transferring to Gamma. There is a partner track at Gamma.

I hope this helps.

replied on Nov 06, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

364 Meetings

5,236 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching


BCG Gamma is basically data science. It will be similar to any data science job in technology. You'll be working with SQL, Python, etc. programming and analyzing data. Its career progression is closer to research than consulting.

McKinsey Digital is a Former BTO. Working there has the following differences with a generalist:

1) More training - from my experience BTO guys were constantly traveling

2) Separate staffing - you will have a different staffing coordinator who has to approve all your projects. In general, it gives you more opportunities since you can also be staffed on generalist projects.

3) Different project types - BTO is working on IT strategy, Agile transformations, etc. It also depends on the country where you apply - while in US you can expect many BTO projects, in other countries most of your projects will be in various industries and functions

4) Career opportunities - again, depending on the country, the path to the partner may be easier in BTO since you have a separate group of people supporting you and dedicated projects. It may also be difficult as well if you don't have a proper BTO organization pyramid in your office

Good luck!

SUHEB replied on Nov 04, 2017


Both McKinsey Digital and BCG Gamma are heavily invested in tech. However, let me clarify that BCG Gamma is an extension of BCG just like BCG DV(Digital Ventures). Everything in BCG Gamma or DV would be precise, developing cases or platform(as per the need). It involves less of consulting/strategy work. BCG TAO(Technology Advantage office), which is a vritual office within BCG, is a practice that involves in consulting/strategy work related to tech/digital sector. BCG TAO leverages the expertise of Gamma and DV. Again BCG, Gamma and DV are three very different things.

McK Digital is a practice within McK. As per my understanding it's not a seperate entetity like DV or Gamma. And I belive it's similar to BCG TAO.

To answer your question - Gamma is very unique/ niche capability which BCG uses and here you will develop data science skills at very advanced level. In McK Digital you will be working as strategy conusltant, so you can work both the horizaontally and vertically in digital sector.

Hope it helps.

replied on Oct 25, 2019
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Horvath, zeb)
Book a coaching with Marco-Alexander

100% Recommendation Rate

66 Meetings

256 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Anonym,

I worked at BCG until recently.

If you have further questions, just write me and we can have a call on it.

Best regards

Graeme replied on Jul 01, 2019

Surely a better question would be QuantumBlack (McKinsey's Data Science sub) or BCG Gamma?

Anonymous B replied on Jan 04, 2018

This is helpful. How about McKinsey New Ventures? Can someone explains a bit more? Is it similar to BCG DV?

Anonymous A replied on Nov 06, 2017

Thanks a lot for the answers.

However, 2 specific questions:

1) Is it fair to assume that McKinsey Digital is more "technical" than BCG TAO, since McK Digital also include units that do prototyping, etc.? The assumption is that you as a "generalist" consultant within McK Digital will be staffed with these more technical people.

2) I don't understand that "BCG GAMMA" is more a research path? From what I understand BCG just developed a partner track for BCG GAMMA as well... so I see it more as a competitor to Palantir? That means, very front-office data scientists.. am I wrong?

Anonymous A replied on Nov 06, 2017


Does that mean that BCG Gamma is more of a back office role? Where will it be the strategy consultant doing more of the client work?

I am in close contact with both places, but I have a really hard time figuring out exactly what they do.

Also, because McK Digital is an umbrella also covering Digital Labs, Quantum Black etc. I would assume it to be more "technical" than the TAO at BCG?

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 32.8k times
4.5 5 834
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 22.5k times
4.5 5 193
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where y ... Open whole case