The life of a management consultant is often hectic, with seemingly endless tasks to juggle on any given day. However, efficient organization, staying on track, focus, and productivity are essential for consultants. Thankfully, there are several tools and software to help them manage their time and get the most out of their day. These tools help minimize the time required for recurring mundane tasks and maximize the time spent solving problems for their clients.
Finding the right tools for management consultants can be overwhelming. At AskBrian, we constantly search for and test the best tools – and integrate them into Brian, our multifunctional digital assistant for consultants and business professionals. Here we share our top 3 tools in 37 categories in 7 work areas, as well as our favourite tool.
Please excuse us if our view on AskBrian is/maybe a little biased since we love our product especially because of easy accessibility via email and MS Teams, no need of any new software installation nor need to remember any credentials, providing high value assistance 24/7 within 3 minutes and reducing the complexity of consultant’s life by a simple interface to many features and at the same time being secure and GDPR complient. Still, we are very open regarding our frenemies and key competitors in each area. We believe, the overview helps.
The software and tools of this category modify the files provided by the users. Correcting text, changing file formats, translation, and formatting slides are some of the ways these tools help management consultants in being more productive.
Many times while working on projects the consultants need to translate documents such as proposals, case studies, documents for the workers council or the final projec documentation. Having a fast and reliable translation tool saves a lot of time and frustration.
Top picks: AskBrian, DeepL, Google Translate
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian translates files from/to 100 languages, supports all office formats and PDFs and can translate files up to 20 MB in size without any software installation. Brian is the best machine file translation you can have, try it yourself.
2. File Conversion
There are helpful tools that convert a file from one format to another enabling the user to copy, edit or calculate the input provided.
Top picks: AskBrian, ABBYY, PDF Acrobat reader
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian converts PDF (native and scanned), PNG or JPG files into all MS Office formats, up to 20 MB file size – secure and without any software download.
Transcription tools convert speech to a text transcript. After your conversation, interview, or meeting, you can convert your audio/video calls, phone recordings to text. The leading transcription tools support most of the languages.
Top picks: AskBrian, Verbit, Rev
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian transcribes audio and video files from more than 130 language-country combinations. Brian transcribes mp3, m4a, amr and mp4 audio/video files up to 20 MB file size.
4. Grammar Checking
These tools correct spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors and check the text for plagiarism, thus helping consultants to prepare documents and decks with confidence and efficiency.
Top picks: Grammarly, languagetool.org, Sapling
Our favourite – ‘Grammarly’: Grammarly is an AI writing assistant software. It does not only correct 250+ types of grammatical and punctuation errors but also improves the writing and detects plagiarism.
5. Slide Beautification
Slide beautification and formatting tools help consultants in making the design of the slide consistent in terms of font size, font type, layout, alignments etc.
Top picks: Templafy, Beautiful AI, Visme
Our favourite – ‘Templafy’: Templafy is a powerful adjustment tool for PowerPoint – content, format and layout checked against up to 40 pre-defined rules.
Summarization tools allow you to generate summaries of pieces of text by extracting the most important parts of it quickly while maintaining the original context. These tools can condense articles, papers, or documents down to the key points instantly so you can free yourself from information overload.
Top picks: Agolo, Summarize Bot, SMMRY
Our favourite – ‘Agolo’: Agolo is an advanced summarization software that synthesizes news and other textual information, to generate configurable and shareable summaries.
Producing quality content requires huge efforts and a significant amount of time. Thankfully there are many software and tools which help management consultants to create attractive and powerful slides and graphics. These tools offer a library of pictures and icons for your slides, ready to use professional-looking templates, PowerPoint add-ins and many more features.
Creating presentations/slides is one of the primary responsibilities of a consultant’s role. There are many tools that offer professional ready to use templates, therefore, saving a significant amount of consultants’ time. The consultants can get templates for consulting methods, proposal deck, pitch deck, organization chart, timeline, corporate strategy, roadmap, swot, and scrum and on a range of other topics.
Top picks: AskBrian, Slidesgo, 24Slides
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian has a library of 1200+ slide templates for 49 topics – 20 to 40 templates in each of the 49 topics simply available via email or MS Teams. Customizable for your company. You can try Brian for free or schedule a demo to learn more about customization options as well.
Icons help in making a presentation visually more attractive. Slides with high quality and the right icons help in the more effective delivery of your story.
Top picks: AskBrian, The Noun Project, Flaticon
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian can send you cool, editable 50 alternative icons for your presentation on thousands of topics.
9. PowerPoint productivity
There are many tools that come as PowerPoint add-ins to enable users to create highly professional presentations in less time. These add-ins help users to create complex data-driven charts, maintain a presentation’s structure with auto-updating agendas alignment, sizing and spacing of shapes. They also offer a large library of visual content like shapes, charts, tables, maps, or flags – all customizable to the user’s corporate design.
Top picks: Think-Cell, Efficient elements, Deckrobot
Our favourite – ‘Think-cell‘: helps you create beautiful PowerPoint charts in minutes, improves your slide layout and automates your regular reports with a single PowerPoint add-in and used by 22K+ companies.
Slides with high-quality images are visually more attractive and help in the effective delivery of the story. There are some providers who offer royalty-free images for nearly all of your needs to create quality presentations.
Top picks: Pexels, Shutterstock, Unsplash
Our favourite – ‘Pexels’: Pexels maintains a library with over 3.2 million free stock photos on a wide range of topics.
Creating engaging graphics requires expertise and a great amount of time. However, there are tools with numerous drag and drop features that can help even non-designers to create boardroom-ready presentations, infographics, engaging charts, documents and social posts in minutes.
Top picks: Canva, Visme, Adobe Spark
Our favourite – ‘Canva’: Canva makes it easy for you to create graphics using their library of 100+ mn photos, videos, audio and graphics and 600K+ templates to choose from. You can even plan, create, and publish your social media posts directly from Canva.
12. Process visualization
Diagram creation tools, with their inbuilt layout shapes and ready to use templates, offer professionals to automatically generate flow charts, org charts, mind maps, tree diagrams, and other business visuals.
Top picks: draw io, Smartdraw, MS Visio
Our favourite – ‘Draw io’: Draw io is an easy to use free tool to build flowcharts, process diagrams, org charts, mind maps and other presentation visuals. You can also collaborate on digital whiteboards in meetings or brainstorming using Draw io.
The research tools collect, analyze, organize and present data and information to consultants in an easy to use manner. This data and information enable the consultants to discover key strategic insights on their project topics and deliver quality recommendations to their clients. These tools support consultants with research like company intelligence, consumer/market/industry research merger intelligence, startup intelligence, news and much more.
13. Public Company intelligence
These tools offer users current and historical data for the balance sheet, income statement, cash flows statement, financial ratios, and multiples on public companies. These tools also provide earnings estimates and real-time stock prices.
Top picks: AskBrian, Capital IQ, Bloomberg
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian‘: Brian provides detailed analyses of 50,000+ public companies with over 1,000 data points in xlsx and pptx. Try yourself, how it works and what amazing results Brian delivers.
14. Private Company intelligence
It’s difficult to get structured and meaningful data on private companies. Thankfully there are many providers offering private company intelligence like key officers, product mix, key competitors, financials, industry etc. Some of these tools also allow users to create lists of companies using custom filters.
Top picks: AskBrian, Orbis (Bureau van Dijk), InsideView
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian has data coverage of 12+ mn privately held companies from Germany, Switzerland and the UK including key executives and financials.
15. Ask anything
Many times consultants come across unfamiliar topics, concepts or terminologies. Q&A tools come very handily to help consultants with these questions.
Top picks: AskBrian, OpenAI, Wolfram Alpha
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian’s Q&A skill combines together Brian’s extremely simple user interface with the most advanced AI technology – GPT-3 by OpenAI.
16. Startup intelligence
There are many tools offering startup intelligence like business description, funding raised, major investors, key people, main competitors, revenue etc. These insights are extremely helpful for consultants in conducting research and due diligence on startups.
Top picks: Crunchbase, PitchBook, CBInsights
Our favourite – ‘Crunchbase‘: Crunchbase offers business information on 1.2 mn companies (primarily privately held). The users can access basic company profiles for free whereas detailed profiles are available on a paid basis.
17. News providers
Leading news providers offer global coverage of the latest developments in the business world in multiple languages. These tools source news from a broad collection of sources like international newspapers, newswires, trade journals, websites, blogs etc.
Top picks: Factiva, Contify, LexisNexis
Our favourite – ‘Factiva’: Factiva is a business information and news tool which aggregates content from 32K+ sources worldwide in 28 languages, including more than 600 continuously updated newswires.
18. Merger intelligence
Merger intelligence tools deliver data and research on venture capital, private equity, M&A deals, target companies, acquiring investors, deal advisors, key people and much more. These tools also provide commentary and analysis of M&A transactions and trends.
Top picks: Mergermarket, PitchBook, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Our favourite – ‘Megermarket’: Mergermarket provides proprietary intelligence to M&A professionals through a network of M&A journalists based in 67 locations across Europe, North & South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
Data, statistics and research reports offer consultants key insights for their project works. The leading statistics and research firms support consultants with trends and statistics on markets, industries, consumers, economics, demographics and many more topics.
Top picks: Statista, WorldBank, IBIS World
Our favourite – ‘Statista’: Statista is a leading provider of market, industry and consumer data. It contains over 1 mn statistics on 80K+ topics from 22K+ sources and covers 170 industries.
An industry primer covers information about the industry structure, value chain, leading players, revenue mix, important metrics and key trends. The purpose of a primer is to help a consultant develop a quick understanding of that particular industry.
Top picks: Managementconulted, Primerli, HFS Research
Our favourite – ‘Managementconsulted’: Managementconsulted has primers on 11 global industries. Each primer covers detailed industry analysis including key trends and metrics, leading players, revenue & cost drivers.
Management consultants many a time work in distributed teams. Post-Covid pandemic, the work has increasingly become more remote and distributed. Thankfully there are many tools that enable consultants to collaborate effectively for their work. Tools like real-time access to communications and information help in keeping track of your project status. The online collaborative tools enable remote/distributed teams to work together, from communicating to brainstorming with digital sticky notes to visualizing concepts, ideas, and solutions as a team.
21. Communication platform
These tools offer instant private and group chats features to enable remote, distributed, and hybrid teams to work together. These messaging apps help in real-time communication, and file sharing. Your messages can contain text, images, files, GIFs, a recorded voice etc.
Top picks: MS Teams, Slack, Wonder me
Our favourite – ‘MS Teams’: Teams is an instant private and group chat tool with rich text editing, enables pictures and documents sharing privately or in a group, moves replies from mails into quick chats and integrates seamlessly with other Office apps. You can access all skills of Brian also via MS Teams – so feel free to schedule a demo, to learn more.
22. File sharing
These applications offer online storage for your personal as well as work-related files so you can share and collaborate on them with other people. These tools keep your files backed up, protected, synced, and accessible on all your devices.
Top picks: OneDrive, Sharepoint, Box
Our favourite – ‘One Drive’: OneDrive allows users to store, share and sync files across multiple devices. It offers 5 GB of free storage space per user and additional storage on a paid basis.
23. To do management
Remaining meticulously organized and staying on track is vitally important to consultants’ projects’ success. To do management tools help you make the planning and management of your projects effective and simpler. These tools enable you to know the steps you need to take towards completing long term projects and have a checklist to ensure you keep track of all the elements of the work you need to do.
Top picks: Monday, Asana, Trello
Our favourite – ‘Monday’: Monday is a work management and productivity tool designed to help your team to collaborate and manage all aspects of projects to increase operational efficiency.
24. Video conferencing
Video conferencing tools enable distributed teams to work together and feel the connection of working side by side – even in remote, distributed, and hybrid work environments. Post-Covid pandemic these tools have become an integral part of teamwork.
Top picks: MS Teams, Zoom, Meets
Our favourite – ‘MS Teams’: With Teams users can host quality calls with up to 250 members, which includes the ability to share screens and record calls. Users can also meet on the go using Teams apps for smartphones and tablets.
25. Virtual collaboration
Online collaborative tools enable distributed teams to work effectively together, from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to visualizing concepts, ideas, and solutions as a team. These tools help your team feel the connection of working side by side – even in remote, distributed, and hybrid work environments.
Top picks: Miro, Mural, Slido
Our favourite – ‘Miro’: Miro is a digital whiteboard platform used to create, collaborate and centralize communication across your company. Trusted by 20m+ users for ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wire-framing and other collaborative activities.
26. Knowledge management
Knowledge management tools help in capturing, storing, sharing and effectively managing the knowledge and experience of employees in an organization. These tools help in improving efficiency, productivity and retaining critical information within the company.
Top picks: Intrafind, Taiger, Starmind
Our favourite – ‘Intrafind’: Intrafind offers the employees fast and easy access to company-wide data and documents – across all sources such as file shares, the intranet, collaboration systems, and e-mail systems.
27. Meeting scheduling
Trying to schedule sales and consulting calls is one of the frequent and time-consuming tasks. Appointment scheduling software is an essential tool that eliminates the back-and-forth hassle by automatically checking calendars for available times so clients can opt for a time that works for them.
Top picks: Calendly, Julie Desk, Zoom AI
Our favourite – ‘Calendly’: Calendy is an automated scheduling tool trusted by millions of users worldwide. Calendly works with Google, Office 365, Zoom, Slack and Outlook calendars and many other apps for a seamless user experience.
In this category, we have covered the most common and prevalent tools used by professionals in their day to day work.
Presentations are the most common mode of story-telling in boardrooms. Therefore, making slides is an integral part of consultants’ day to day work.
Top picks: MS PowerPoint, Google slides, Prezi
Our favourite – ‘MS PowerPoint’: Most commonly used
Tables/numbers analysis tools help the consultants in their calculation related work like financial statements preparation, ratio analysis, margin calculation, budget planning and much more.
Top picks: MS Excel, Google sheets, Qlik
Our favourite – ‘MS Excel’: Most commonly used
30. Text documents
Most often, the consultants, as part of their work, require to prepare text documents like writing meeting notes, interview transcripts, creating reports, preparing agreements and much more.
Top picks: MS Word, Google docs
Our favourite –’MS Word‘: Most commonly used
Considering the size and scope of consulting industry it’s difficult to cover all the software and tools used by management consultants in this write-up. In this category, we have tried to cover some of the other important tools which differ a great deal in their value proposition.
31. Employee service
These software and tools are focused on the HR needs of employees to enhance employee experience. These tools automate responses to employee queries related to company policies, payroll, leave management, benefits, among others, therefore saving a significant amount of consultants’ time.
Top picks: AskBrian, Leena AI, At Spoke
Our favourite – ‘AskBrian’: Brian’s mail and MS Teams based e-buddy answers all queries by employees related to a wide range of topics from admin to onboarding to travel to expense etc instantly.
CRM tools make managing your business relationships easier by streamlining the technical details. They allow you to better manage and document email correspondence, shared files, contact information and more.
Top picks: Hubspot, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics
Our favourite – ‘HubSpot’: Hubspot offers a CRM platform with all the tools and integrations you need for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. It is designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.
Excellent survey tools with easy-to-create surveys that can be delivered through email or messaging applications, can help consultants with some important insights from their target segments.
Top picks: Surveymonkey, Mentimeter, Typeform
Our favourite – ‘ Surveymonkey‘: Surveymonkey is the World’s most popular free online survey. It allows users to use basic tools for free while designating more advanced features that require paid plans.
34. Data visualization
Data visualization tools and software help in translating large data sets and metrics into charts, graphs and other visuals. These visual representations of data makes it easier to identify and share insights about the information in the data.
Top picks: Power BI, Tableau, Google Data Studio
Our favourite – ‘Power BI’: Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft with an interface simple enough for end-users to create their own reports and dashboards. It unifies data from many sources to create interactive visualizations and reports to get actionable insights.
35. Travel booking
Management consultants are frequent travellers and these firms have their own travel partners to take care of their travelling needs. Still, there are some conversational AI tools that offer instant travel booking services.
Top picks: Kayak, Expedia, Lanes & Planes
Our favourite – ‘Kayak’: Kayak offers a simple chat-based AI-powered travel and hotel booking platform.
36. Expense management
Expense management solutions are extremely important for heavy travelling consultants. Leading expense management solutions offers flexibility to easily allocate charges to multiple projects and enable users to file client-billable and non-client-billable expenses in a single form.
Top picks: SAP Concur, ExpenseTron, Xpenditure
Our favourite – ‘SAP Concur’: SAP Concur offers an integrated online and mobile business travel and expense management solution to simplify travel, expense and invoice management with total visibility.
37. Video creation
Videos are a powerful and engaging mode of storytelling. However, creating video demands significant efforts, time and cost. Thankfully there are many video creation tools (including some AI-powered ones) to create engaging video like for training, customer onboarding, sales etc in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Top picks: Synthesia, Vyond, Loom
Our favourite – ‘Synthesia’: Synthesia helps you to create your own professional AI videos by simply typing in text in 50+ languages. Generate engaging video content for e-learning, customer onboarding, and many other use cases. Check our first 3-mins video we used by using this technology.