Consulting and Rice Krispie Treats


Sometimes consulting is like making Rice Krispy Treats.

The client says they’re hungry. The consultant ducks into the kitchen, makes a lot of noise and emerges four hours later, sweat on their brow, covered in flour, with a pan of Rice Krispy Treats in hand.

Sometimes the work is easy and it’s hard for the client to know exactly how much effort went into it.

I wish we could say Rice Krispie Treat consulting—trading on your client’s ignorance and their hunger—wasn’t sustainable. For the record, when dealing with data, many things are easy that used to be hard, and everything is getting easier.

Some things that are easy:

* Cleaning data with well recognized patterns

* Dealing with millions of records (billions can be hard)

* Repeating a process or analysis that has already been defined

* Matching datasets with unique identifiers

If your consultant isn’t willing to admit that some portions of the problem are easy, then they are either being disingenuous, aren’t using the right tools, or should avoid the kitchen altogether.