AEC Annual Report 2018
17/07/2019
English versión

Since 2004, the Spanish Association of Consultancy firms (Asociación Española de Empresas de Consultoría or AEC) has meticulously compiled data from Spanish firms in the industry to offer an annual snapshot of the most important features and trends in the industry. This report provides data for 2018 and comparisons with previous years. 

The data used was obtained directly from the consultancy firms and official statistics from the Ministry of Employment, the National Statistics Institute (INE) and Eurostat.

Some of the main conclusions are outlined below:

Sustained growth

In 2018, revenue in the industry rose by 5.9% to €13,714 million. This upward trend has remained constant over recent years and a further 5.3% increase is forecast for 2019. Once again, growth rates in consultancy have outstripped GDP.

Consistent job creation

During 2018, the industry's net workforce rose by 9.4% to nearly 186,000. The increase in employment has remained consistent since 2004, when this annual report was first published. The industry generates high-quality, knowledge-intensive employment; 68% of staff have completed higher education, of whom 67% have STEM degrees.

Most highly valued skills: learning capacity, teamwork and results-orientation

The survey shows that the most highly valued soft skills are capacity for learning; teamwork; results-oriented approach; customer-orientation; initiative and proactivity; flexibility and adaptation to new situations; and capacity for effective communication, in that order.

Consultancy services continue to grow

The area of strongest growth in 2018 was consultancy services (up 14%), which now accounts for 24.4% of total revenue. Demand for this type of service has risen as companies undertake digital transformation of their business.

Demand for services is being led by the financial services sector

The industry's largest client sector in 2018 was financial services, which accounted for 34% of all revenue, followed by Government (17.6%); energy & utilities (13.8%); and telecommunications & media, 12.1%.

From big data & analytics to artificial intelligence

According to our survey, the technology playing the most significant role in members' projects during the year was big data & analytics. However, they predict that over the next five years, the top spot will be taken by artificial intelligence, followed by big data & analytics, cybersecurity and service automation.

Innovation, an essential part of consultancy’s DNA

In 2018, the consultancy industry invested 2.8% of income in innovation, above the European average and more than twice the rate for Spain as a whole.

More than 60% of staff training hours were given over to advanced technologies.