"Smart Search has allowed us to connect people, technology and strategy in ways we couldn't imagine before."
With Smart Search, we have developed an AI solution that allows us to interact with our collective knowledge in a conversational way - revealing insights that spark creativity and strategic innovation.
In the landscape of modern business, the ways we acquire, share, and apply knowledge is central to how we serve our clients and innovate. But as the volume of unstructured information and unwieldy formats expands, curating meaningful insight is proving ever more challenging.
While the demand of managing company information impacts every organisation, it is business critical to knowledge-driven companies such as Arthur D. Little. This led us to ask a fundamental question: How can we innovate the knowledge management process to help us work smarter and benefit our clients?
Providing content with context
Traditional data search tools simply couldn’t respond dynamically to the intricate contextual queries our consultants posed. We needed a new approach that could quickly harness our accumulated knowledge and extract actionable insights. Crucially, it needed to incorporate a human element – one that would allow our consulting teams to apply their understanding and experience to deliver personalised solutions to our clients.
Enter Smart Search, our state-of-the-art AI platform. Tailored to understand queries in natural language, it allows us to interact with our collective knowledge in a conversational way. It provides clear, contextual answers that accelerate research, ideation, and content drafting.
Accessing years of collective intelligence
As Jon Nicholls, Global IT Director at Arthur D. Little says, “Smart Search is more than a piece of technology: it’s a gateway to the combined expertise of Arthur D. Little. Imagine having a conversation with decades of experience and knowledge, anytime you need it, irrespective of where you are in the world. It’s transforming how we think, work, and innovate by supporting, not supplanting, the work our consultants deliver to clients.” Smart Search is dynamic and continually improving. We’ve already incorporated the ability to automatically translate text, summarise extensive documents and complex formats, read text from images, and refine feedback based on user input and preferred responses.
“Using our Microsoft Azure AI–based solution helps consultants cut client meeting preparation time from days to just a few hours, and they curate content for presentations in half the amount of time it took before,” says Nicholls.
“Imagine having a conversation with decades of experience and knowledge, anytime you need it, irrespective of where you are in the world.”
A digital colleague
Consultants can now investigate a market segment, extract insights about key players, and synthesise an analytical overview in one seamless interaction, saving time and enabling more informed decision-making. Explaining its advantages, Heather Norris, a manager in our Technology and Innovation Management practice adds, “Smart Search understands the relationship or context between different topics. So, we can start a search with one issue in mind but end up with a better answer based on a relationship that we hadn't realised existed.
"I constantly challenge Smart Search with intricate questions to road test our strategies, or pre-empt client queries. The responses I get often reveal novel perspectives or solutions that wouldn’t be immediately obvious."
Delivering transformative benefits
Now used across our global organisation, we are seeing a range of benefits from Smart Search as it integrates into how we work:
• Efficiency: With one tool, we can gain insights from our global knowledge, dramatically reducing the time it takes to access comprehensive information
• Innovation: The scope of Smart Search’s knowledge base introduces fresh perspectives, enabling innovation. Claire-Candice Descamps, Global Practice Manager for our Financial Services group notes, "Previously, establishing connections across different sectors was painstaking, manual work. Now, our search is lightning-fast, rapidly revealing insights that spark creativity."
• Rigorous testing: Nicola Borgo, Consultant, explains, "I constantly challenge Smart Search with intricate questions to road test our strategies, or pre-empt client queries. The responses I get often reveal novel perspectives or solutions that wouldn’t be immediately obvious."
• Trust: Recognising the importance of protecting information, we've built state-of-the-art security protocols into Smart Search. As Nicholls says, "Trust has to be our priority. We are unwavering in our commitment to guarantee the security and confidentiality of our clients' data at every touchpoint."
MEETING FUTURE BUSINESS CHALLENGES
The benefits of Smart Search aren’t confined to Arthur D. Little but are becoming directly available to clients. Dr Michael Eiden explains, “What began as an internal experiment is now a breakthrough solution that is ready for broader deployment. Many businesses look at AI purely from an efficiency gain and a productivity perspective. However, the next generation of generative AI use cases will be much more integrated, and much more holistic. They will allow us to augment even complex human tasks within businesses to an unprecedented level. “We're helping our clients move into an era where they can harness the might of AI to make sense of complex multi-language, multi-format, unstructured data. Take procurement, for example. Companies need to navigate thousands of contracts with their suppliers and contractors that might be in different languages, different geographies, and different legislations.”
Thanks to our dedicated team of data specialists, we can scale our platform in a secure, cost effective manner. The aim is to deliver a complete package, not just technology. That means we provide training to help leverage AI, from prompt engineering skills to mastering content validation, all backed up by a comprehensive playbook that supports effective use and adoption. Our transformative journey with Smart Search is just beginning. That’s why we're reaching out to partners and clients who share our passion for innovation.
If you believe in the power of AI to redefine your industry, now is the moment to act.
Find out more information on our generative AI capabilities