Turning great ideas into tangible value – and transforming consulting in the process
Reva Busby is a leader with West Monroe’s Intellio® Labs, a team focused on commercializing high-potential consulting assets developed through our innovation process. She has been part of the innovation process since 2015 and today leads Intellio® Labs’ product and operations functions.
Reva discusses what Intellio® Labs is, how it works, and why we created it. She also explains how this team is creating value for our firm and clients but also helping shape the future of consulting – making it a unique career opportunity.
We are a new but rapidly growing unit within West Monroe that manages several Intellio® assets – digital innovations that differentiate our consulting services and create value for clients through capabilities such as faster access to data, more sophisticated analysis, or proprietary benchmarks that support our recommendations. West Monroe embeds these assets in our services. Certain types of projects require the use of one of our tools: for example, revenue analytics projects use Intellio® Predict, and Intellio® Hunt is at the core of our cybersecurity threat hunting service. Some remain in use at clients when our work is done, but we do not sell Intellio® assets as standalone products.
Our assets automate tasks such as data collection and/or reduce the learning curve. For example, it takes time to teach the art of cybersecurity forensics. Intellio® Hunt captures the knowledge of our most senior practitioners, allowing new consultants to contribute faster.
West Monroe uses proprietary assets to accelerate the value we create for clients through more effective use of their data and automation. We see our clients asking for these solutions, and our competitors entering the market with their own assets. Intellio® Labs was tlaunched as a way to more effectively offer asset-based consulting services to our clients.
I have always been a builder and creator. I’ve launched various new roles at West Monroe since joining the firm in 2006 and then passed the torch to others to continue developing them. This has allowed me to help my colleagues shine and grow, a passion of mine.
I am also motivated by the art of the possible. I particularly enjoy making ideas real and turning them into value for colleagues and clients. I have been involved with our innovation process since 2015 and am excited to be a part of this next era of innovation at West Monroe.
We currently have 12 full-time employees, up from seven when we launched at the beginning of 2021. Most are engineers with skills in data engineering, data visualization, infrastructure as code, front-end development, and UX/UI design. Others handle product management and other operations. We have big but realistic plans for bringing in more assets from West Monroe’s innovation pipeline. It is important to note that we are a self-funded team – the revenue we help generate pays for our team. This means that we can expand to the extent that these assets create value. The fact that we nearly doubled the team in our few months is evidence that this model is working.
Technical skills are essential, but we also want out-of-the-box thinkers who can push the envelope and drive change. Flexibility is key. We expect engineers to work across the portfolio, shifting to address high-priority needs at any given time. Team members should be willing to learn new domains and dive into new technical challenges. And a product mindset – the ability to solve for a need and minimize time to value – is important as we expand the portfolio.
One of the great things about our profession is that just about every day brings something different. That said, there is one constant in Intellio® Labs: We start each day with a stand-up meeting to discuss what everyone is working on. If we have extra time, we’ll brainstorm on a specific issue or challenge that someone is facing.
If you are in an engineering role, you may have meetings to discuss a potential new use case, conduct a demonstration, troubleshoot an issue, or provide assistance for a client meeting – in addition to ongoing development work. You may also investigate or test new features. If your focus is on products, you may gather user feedback, evaluate new opportunities, or collaborate with one of our innovation fellows.
Many of our client service teams use our assets – and that will continue to grow as our portfolio becomes broader. We actively support the consulting teams that use our assets to deliver services. Additionally, practical innovation is one of West Monroe’s core values, so innovation is everyone’s responsibility. If you have an idea for a digital asset that could create new value, then you may work with us at some point in the product lifecycle.
It is a lot like being in a start-up, but within a larger organization. There is tremendous potential for learning and professional growth. Our team has exposure to every aspect of West Monroe’s business and some of the most pressing issues that consulting firms are addressing today, such as cybersecurity and mergers and acquisitions. We push consultants to think differently about how they deliver, so this is a unique opportunity to shape the future of consulting.
Interested in opportunities to innovate for West Monroe? Check out our Intellio® Lab openings or read more about how our people make an impact.
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