Background and challenge

A leading engineering and construction firm engaged L.E.K. Consulting to refine its operating model and enlisted our expertise to articulate a forward-looking vision for analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) across the organization.  

The client identified its position behind industry counterparts in harnessing the full potential of analytics and AI, which underscored significant missed opportunities in value creation. To strategically position itself for long-term success, the company sought to transform its organizational culture to prioritize data-driven decision making. However, it required a clear roadmap and expert guidance to initiate this transformative journey effectively.


To address the client’s needs, we embarked on a comprehensive evaluation and restructuring process for the client’s analytics and AI capabilities, focusing on the below key areas:

  • Assessment of current capabilities and challenges: We diligently assessed the existing analytics and AI landscape within the firm. It was determined that the analytics and AI team was misaligned with broader business objectives, which led to ineffective data collection, poor data quality and a lack of proper governance and ownership over data and its associated solutions.
  • Articulation of a strategic vision (“North Star”): Our consulting team identified the absence of a clearly defined and communicated analytics and AI strategy, compounded by the lack of a dedicated leadership figure accountable for overseeing this function. This gap resulted in prioritization issues, an unclear strategic direction and the inefficient allocation of resources.
  • Development of a macro-operating model for analytics and AI: Due to the current engagement model, it became clear that the development of analytics and AI solutions and data collection were siloed across the organization. This fragmentation led to inconsistent use of tools, no centralized record system for key datasets, the accumulation of technological debt and the inability to create a cohesive enterprisewide perspective on essential data domains. A new operating model was required, a new operating model was required to better integrate the business, data collection, engineering, and analytics and AI solutions in a way that drove ideation, adoption and broad deployment to enable the largest value creation.

Our approach involved integrating these insights into a structured plan that aimed at not only rectifying current inefficiencies but also positioning the firm to leverage analytics and AI more effectively in the future. This strategic overhaul was designed to foster a culture of data-driven decision making across the organization, ensuring that analytics and AI could significantly contribute to its long-term success.


  • Enhanced understanding and strategic roadmap: The client gained a comprehensive understanding of the deficiencies within its existing analytics and AI operating model. Armed with this knowledge, the firm now possesses a structured roadmap designed to better organize its analytics and AI function. This plan includes new methodologies to address the previously identified issues with data processes and integration with the broader business objectives.
  • Leadership alignment and strategic vision: The insights provided by our team played a crucial role in unifying the client’s leadership around a forward-looking new vision for analytics and AI. This strategic vision ensures that future initiatives by the analytics and AI team are in strict alignment with the company’s overarching strategic goals, thereby maximizing the impact and effectiveness of their efforts.
  • Identification of high-value initiatives and cost savings: Throughout the consulting engagement, several high-value initiatives were identified that could potentially yield significant financial benefits. The client is now positioned to realize over $350 million in annual cost savings through more effective deployment of data and AI solutions. This underscores the substantial economic impact that a well-structured analytics and AI strategy can have on an organization.

These results illustrate the transformative potential of rethinking and retooling analytics and AI functions within a large organization, particularly when guided by strategic consulting expertise. The outcomes not only address immediate operational inefficiencies but also set the stage for sustained competitive advantage and innovation.

To learn more about how L.E.K. can help with your data strategy, please contact us.

L.E.K. Consulting is a registered trademark of L.E.K. Consulting LLC. All other products and brands mentioned in this document are properties of their respective owners. © 2024 L.E.K. Consulting LLC

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