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Top 5 Ways Professional Services Teams Are Using Generative AI

June 17, 2024 (5 min read)
Professional services professionals can use generative AI in a variety of ways.

By now, it’s highly likely that at least some conversation of Generative AI has crept into your life in professional services. While there are debates about the pros and cons of the technology, there is no doubt that Generative AI is emerging as a game-changing technology for professional services firms like management consultants, market researchers, IT services, and more.

More and more companies and professionals are looking to capitalize on its abilities to streamline their work by automizing repetitive tasks or other time-intensive duties.

In this article, we explore 5 key ways you can apply AI to drive efficiency in your day-to-day work, so you have more time to focus on higher-value strategic work and make a bigger impact on your clients and your business.

Automating market and industry research

To be of the most value to your clients, you need to know everything about their industries, competitors, key markets, and current trends. However, conducting this type of market research requires extensive reading and analysis of reports, articles, data, and more. This manual research process can take days for you to complete, leaving you little time to analyze the research to best serve your client.

With generative AI, however, you can prompt the system to produce customized research briefings to support your current projects.

For example, if you are working with a medical device startup, you could provide a detailed prompt to a large language model, like:

"Please analyze CB Insights and PitchBook industry reports from the past two years along with recent news articles to summarize the current state of the wearable health technology market in a 250-word overview. Include analysis of market size, growth projections, key competitors and disruptive technology trends."

The specificity of the prompt allows the tool to locate the right sources, zero in on the main points, and generate a comprehensive market research brief hitting on all the requested details, key stats, and insights. Essentially, the AI acts as an initial research assistant, saving you time and providing a strong starting point for you to then build upon with further strategic analysis tailored to the client's interests.

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Drafting client deliverables and content

Once you have done your research for a client and synthesized your suggestions, you need to create customized presentations, reports, and documents for clients is a core capability for consultants. While the strategic thinking still requires human skills, generative AI can help draft content faster.

For example, if you’re working on a growth strategy presentation for a retail client, you could provide prompts like:


  • "Please draft a slide with a chart showing the client's revenue growth over the past 5 years."
  • "Please write 2-3 bullet points for a slide summarizing the competitive threats the client faces in the market."
  • "Generate a 200 word first draft of the executive summary for this presentation highlighting the client's core challenges and opportunities."

The AI would then quickly generate initial content for various sections of the presentation, including graphs, bullet points, and paragraphs. You would still need to review, polish, and customize the content to match analysis tailored to the client's specific situation and objectives. But prompts help speed up the drafting process significantly.

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Analyzing transcripts, reports, and filings

Reviewing and extracting key insights from client documents like earnings call transcripts, financial reports, inspection reports, contracts, and more is a tedious but essential process for consultants.

For example, you may have to analyze past annual and quarterly filings to assess financial performance for clients. Done by yourself, it can take hours to go through hundreds of pages. Multiply that by each client, and you’re looking at a lot of time spent on reviewing documents that could be better spent elsewhere.

Instead, you could prompt AI to summarize filings—like 10-K filings for the past 3 years for a client—and as for a summary, including analysis of key financial metrics like revenue, profit margins, debt levels, and cash flow. The AI-generated summary would then allow you to efficiently extract key historical financials and priorities to inform business decisions. In this instance, the AI acts as an analyst assistant. You’ll still need to build further strategic analysis tailored to the acquisition goals of your client—which you now have time to do thanks to the AI summary.  

MORE: Why third-party data sources matter when using generative AI

Monitoring News and Industry Developments

Like monitoring financials, keeping fully updated on the latest news and trends impacting client industries is challenging but crucial for consultants, but reading through countless industry news sites, blogs, and publications manually consumes massive amounts of time.

To streamline this process, generative AI can rapidly scan thousands of sources and highlight the most relevant emerging developments for a client’s specific sector and interests.

Let’s say you’re working with a large retailer. You could ask the AI to summarize key news over the past week related to the retail industry, focusing on stories discussing ecommerce, brick-and-mortar, omnichannel strategy, and top retailers Amazon and Walmart.

The AI would then analyze recent news articles and generate a customized briefing touching on items like:

  • Amazon’s latest acquisition of an ecommerce platform company
  • Walmart’s announced plans to remodel stores to enhance omnichannel capabilities
  • Research forecasting U.S. ecommerce sales to reach $1 trillion by 2025

This would provide targeted and actionable news for the retail client in minutes versus the hours it would take you to manually find and review all relevant articles, allowing you to stay updated in a timely manner.

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Processing and analyzing data sets

Working with clients, you’re often provided with large data sets like customer information, financial records, operations metrics, and more. Manually processing this data to uncover insights is time-intensive.

Generative AI can rapidly analyze client data sets to highlight key patterns and trends. Asking an AI tool to analyze customer purchase data and summarize key trends, for example, can quickly return insights and opportunities like average order value increases for returning versus new customers, peak sales times in different markets, and what product category led growth.

Having this information efficiently highlighted allows you the time to focus on developing strategic recommendations tailored to the client's goals based on the data trends, rather than deciphering those trends themselves.

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The future of professional services with AI

While the above are some of the most practical uses for AI in professional services, Generative AI uses will only continue to evolve and make work more efficient in the future.

For more information on the future of Generative AI, we invite you to view our LexisNexis® Future of Work Report 2024: How Generative AI is Shaping the Future of Work to explore more of ways Generative AI is changing the landscape.