How a Big Four consultancy launched new data services with Craft

Client: One of The Big Four

Industry: Professional services

Team: Data Science & Artificial Intelligence team

Location: Germany

"Data is today’s oil, Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity. Craft takes the drudgery out of data collection and refinement. The data is ready for applying the power of AI on top."

When a leading professional services firm wanted to use data more intuitively and offer new data services to its customers, it turned to Craft. 

The world’s four largest professional services consultancies - Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – are known collectively as ‘the Big Four’. Increasingly, technology is at the core of everything the Big Four does, and that includes data analytics services.

One of the Big Four’s German-based divisions wanted to create a data tool that could serve both the consultancy and its clients and deliver valuable insights on a variety of business sectors and users.  

The consultancy spotted market demand for a new, targeted data analytics tool, particularly among its smart manufacturing customer base. In order to create this data tool, the consultancy brought in a head of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from a leading professional services group to spearhead development.

The data challenge

The consultancy’s Data Science & Artificial Intelligence team faced a number of challenges. 

The data they had access to was not clean or organized. They needed a supplier that would provide ordered, relevant data in an organized way. 

The team wanted to be able to access all their data via one single tool. Before turning to Craft, they had been sourcing data from nine different tools, and their processes involved a lot of time-consuming manual work. Of course, creating cohesive reports was a challenge when working with so many different tools and this was something they needed to simplify.  

Another challenge the consultancy faced was that many of its customers also had multi-tool, manual processes for data analytics in place. It was clear that simplification was needed across the board. The consultancy wanted an always-on monitoring system and a simple desktop and mobile app. Such a set-up would enable the data team to log in at any time and from anywhere, and assess company performance for example, by looking at details such as headcount or share price.

The consultancy needed a simple data solution for all these challenges – and found a solution in Craft.

Why the consultancy chose Craft

The consultancy experimented with various suppliers, including Talkwalker, D&B. However, they found that Craft’s Application Programme Interface (API) was particularly persuasive.

The Craft Company Data API is a GraphQL API built over HTTP and SSL. GraphQL makes it possible to make a single API call to fetch all of the required information on a particular company. The API is very orderly and easy to access and can draw data from multiple sources to present with a single-source view.  When the consultancy required sentiment analysis, Craft brought together additional insight and expertise to provide a solution.

Using Craft, the consultancy can also customize the way data is visualized, as Craft’s API makes it easy to integrate reports. The team receives data from the Craft API and are then able to create stunning visuals to present their insights.

So far, 15 German manufacturing companies are experimenting with the consultancy’s beta version of the data tool. The API is proving very popular, based on early feedback, as those users are getting the exact data they want. 

Another key factor in choosing Craft is its flexibility. Working with Craft makes it easy to add extra data sources that are needed for different projects. For example, if a user wants to add an extra data source, the data tool can integrate that new source quickly and seamlessly.

The company was delighted with the level of swift response technical support it received. Craft provided a technical customer and success manager in the customer’s time zone. The Craft support agent has worked with the consultancy’s data team via video call and screen shares to get them set up with the large amount of data at their disposal.

Craft has been supporting the consultancy data team with training and insight, showing them most effective ways to run and optimize queries. With the right data in place, the Big Four consultancy can now apply Machine Learning and AI on top to create even more intuitive data models.

A senior AI consultant at the consultancy says: “Data is today’s oil; Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity. Craft takes the drudgery out of data collection and refinement. The data is ready for applying the power of AI on top.”

By deploying Craft as its data provider, the Big Four consultancy can now offer even more intuitive value-add data services, as well as widen its offering to its customers. The consultancy’s pilots with customers will provide vital learnings on how to evolve its data offering and has the potential to be spun out across departments worldwide. 

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About Craft
Craft is an enterprise intelligence company helping organizations make data-informed business decisions and track millions of companies in their supply chain. Clients, which include government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, use Craft’s technology and data to build in-house analytics systems for supply chain intelligence and to monitor any company they are working with in real-time on the Craft intelligence portal.