The explosive growth of the data economy is being fueled by the rise of insights services. Companies have been selling and sharing data for years. Axciom and Experian made their name by providing access to rich troves of consumer data. Thompson Reuters, Dun and Bradstreet and Bloomberg distributed financial and corporate data. Data brokers of various kinds connected buyers and sellers across a rich data market landscape. Customers, however, needed to be able to manage and manipulate the data to derive value from it. That required a requisite set of tools and technologies and a high degree of data expertise. Without that data savvy, insights could be elusive.

The new data market is different with insights services providers doing the heavy lifting, delivering relevant and actionable insights directly into decision-making processes. These insights services providers come in a number of flavors.  Some provide insights relevant to a particular vertical; others focus on a particular domain such as risk mitigation or function within an organizations such as sales, marketing, or operations.  

In our recent Forrester WaveTM: Insights Services Providers, Q1 2017, we evaluated ten of the largest broad insights service providers— Accenture Digital, Atos, Capgemini, Deloitte, EY, IBM, Infosys, KPMG, McKinsey, and Wipro – and researched, analyzed, and scored them. These providers offer a range of services across vertical industries and specific domains or business functions.

This new report shows how each provider measures up and helps business insights professionals – those making strategic and operational decisions across their businesses – and their peers make the right choice in selecting an insights service provider that best fits their requirements.  For many organizations seeking that support is a make or break decision. Those who engage an insights services provider are much more likely to be able to access the data and insights they need and apply them to their business processes and actions in a timely manner.

The insights providers who rated highly in our study and whose customers were most satisfied were those who provided rich decision support tools, allowing decision makers to explore the findings, evaluate alternative actions and trade-offs required, preview predicted outcomes and confidently address the challenges and decisions they faced.  

The decision-makers who engage insights services providers tend to be more satisfied with the level of analytics within their companies. And, the bottom line: top performing companies – those with YoY revenue growth of over 10% – are much more likely to seek insights help.