Forbes created the list by partnering with Statista, an online statistics provider. In order to appear on the list, firms had to fit into one of the following categories: “classic” management consultancy firms, IT consultancies, advisory branches of auditing firms, and consulting branches of agencies.
Firms were sourced for consideration by searching through lists of associations, consulting directories, competitions and company databases, as well as through the PR and marketing departments of 50 large management consulting firms.
The results were based on two online surveys. The first survey included 7,286 partners and project managers from management consultancies who were asked to make recommendations of consultancies, excluding their own, across 15 industries and 16 functional areas. The second survey included 1,316 management consultancy clients who were asked to recommend consultancies on a list falling within industries and functional areas in which they worked with a consultancy in the last four years. Then the consultancies were sorted into started categories according to the number of total recommendations received, in each industry and functional area.