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What Is Quantitative Consulting?

Jan Fletcher
Jan Fletcher

The field of quantitative consulting consists of gathering, interpreting and applying numerical data to the operation of an organization or business. Depending on the specific career path, a consultant working in this field may assist others in quantifying consumer response, calculating financial performance, or providing various analytical reports to company management. Some who work in this field focus on interpreting marketing data, while others may apply statistical information to evaluating and improving internal operations. While qualitative consultants look at non-numerical factors in an organization's performance, quantitative consulting is solely focused on measuring performance through numerical means.

In some cases, quantitative consulting assists a company with understanding numerical operational data. At other times, a consultant may help construct more efficient and reliable mechanisms for capturing that data. In still other instances, a business may have abundant data, but it is not organized in an optimal fashion. The consultant may focus on analyzing and organizing numerical data into actionable forms, so that managers are better prepared to identify areas of inefficiency. Using the data, the company can then address wasteful practices.

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Mitigating risk is another area in which a quantitative consultant may assist organizations. By examining risks in numerical terms, organizational leadership may be equipped to weigh them in a more accurate way. For example, a company may recognize an existing exposure to liability through the manufacturing of certain consumer products, but have no reliable data to confirm the exact amount of risk. By contracting for quantitative consulting to calculate the risk, managers will be able to more precisely weigh a decision on whether or not to invest in a higher level of quality control.

In addition to calculating overall financial performance, some consultants who work in this area of expertise focus on marketing analytics. Sales data is probably one of the areas in most companies for which actual performance statistics are the most readily available, since marketing is the lifeline of an enterprise. Quantitative consulting may be very helpful in developing accurate measurements of who is buying what, why particular products are purchased, and what the optimal times are for launching new products. By piecing together data from sales forecasts, actual sales, and market segmentation, a sales manager may spot problem areas. As a result, a production line might be shifted to the manufacturing of another product, or the timing of a product launch may be adjusted.

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