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Accenture picks up UK data consultancy Redkite with eye to AI market

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Accenture’s latest acquisition is Redkite, a London-based firm that helps big companies deploy data processing software.

The deal will see Accenture gain about 230 new employees in the U.K. along with a large roster of client accounts. Redkite says that it has completed projects for clients in the consumer goods and services, retail, and media industries including multiple “household name brands.”

In the context of a big company, the term “data analytics” can mean everything from predicting inventory levels to turning quarterly financial results into a Tableau dashboard. An enterprise might use as many as dozens or hundreds of different solutions to organize, analyze and visualize its data, which means that there are plenty of opportunities for a consultancy to add value.

Companies can hire Redkite’s professionals to manage the planning stage of their analytics projects. For instance, if a restaurant chain wants to analyze order data from its venues to find the most popular menu items, Redkite can figure out what analytics products the restaurant should deploy and how.

Redkite also manages the hands-on, highly technical implementation details of analytics projects. Its engineers can coordinate the installation of a newly purchased data management product or revamp a company’s existing data stack.

The driving force behind Accenture’s acquisition of Redkite is AI.

Companies are adopting AI in large numbers and they need a lot of data to support their machine learning projects. Training an AI model requires large volumes of high-quality training dataset, along with a raft of specialized analytics tools.

Neural network training is not the only task to which Accenture can apply Redkite’s expertise.

Many companies don’t build their own AI models but rather take existing models and customize by training them on custom data. This, too, requires building complex data management infrastructure of the kind Redkite specializes in implementing. 

Many of the most sophisticated analytics tools on the market are only available in the cloud. Redkite has experience in cloud-based data management technologies as well, which could make the acquisition a particularly valuable one for Accenture. 

Redkite managing director Jon Tippell commented that “for companies to embrace the opportunity of data and AI, they need strong digital foundations in the cloud across their business. Joining Accenture means we can become a stronger force for our clients to set their data strategies in motion and fuel their organisations with intelligence.”

As the pace of AI adoption continues to accelerate in the corporate world, Accenture can be expected to continue making AI-related acquisitions. Buying smaller competitors has long been a part of Accenture’s growth playbook: it makes dozens of acquisitions every year to expand its menu of professional services and obtain new client accounts.