Oct 04, 2023 Louise Boland

The Key Differences Between Expert Networks & Consultancies

Consultancy and an expert network are two distinct types of organisations that provide clients with support and expertise. Learn the key differences, similarities, and how the two work in tandem to facilitate market-changing acquisitions, push boundaries and influence industry trends, market growth, and huge business changes.

Expert Network industry:

An expert network is a platform and service that connects businesses and consultancy firms seeking knowledge or expertise with subject matter experts in various fields. Expert networks facilitate one-on-one interactions often for due diligence, or specific research project needs. Their role is to connect clients with experts who can provide information, insights, or guidance on specific topics.

Expert networks focus on connecting clients with individual experts who have deep knowledge in specific niches or industries. These experts may include academics, industry professionals, scientists, or other specialists. Expert networks aim to provide direct access to subject matter experts for specific, targeted inquiries.

Consultancy industry:

Consultancies typically employ a team of consultants who are experts in various areas of business, management, and strategy. These consultants often have extensive experience and may work collectively to address broader business challenges.

Key Differences:

Engagement Model:

Consultancies often engage in long-term projects with clients, where they work closely with the client's management team to address complex issues and implement strategic changes. The partnership can last months or even years.

Expert networks typically facilitate short-term engagements or one-time consultations across multiple projects. Clients may speak to an expert for a specific project through consultation for just an hour to gain insights on a particular topic.

Focus and Scope:

Consultancies are broad in scope and can provide holistic business advice across various areas such as finance, operations, marketing, and organizational development. They often help clients with strategic planning and execution.

Expert networks are utilised by clients for a much narrower focus area, geared toward providing highly specialised expertise or access to niche knowledge. Expert networks are utilised to gain insights on specific technical, industry-specific, or research-oriented matters.


How Expert Networks and Consultancy firms work together:

Access to Niche Knowledge:

Consultancy firms often work on diverse projects for clients in different industries and sectors. When they encounter a specialised or niche area where their in-house expertise is limited, they tap into expert networks to connect with subject matter experts who possess the specific knowledge required for that project. This ensures that the consultancy firm can provide comprehensive advice and solutions to clients.

Due Diligence and Research:

When consultancy firms are working on due diligence projects, market research, mergers and acquisitions evaluations, they can utilise expert networks to gather relevant information and opinions surrounding the industry. Experts provided by the expert network can provide valuable insights and data analysis that contribute to the decision-making process.

Short-Term Projects:

Consultancy firms may engage subject matter experts from expert networks for short-term, focused projects where specific expertise is needed for a limited duration. This allows them to efficiently meet client needs without hiring full-time specialists.

Global Reach:

Expert networks can provide access to experts from around the world, helping consultancy firms serve clients with international operations or interests. This global reach can be particularly valuable when dealing with cross-border issues or markets.


In summary, consultancies offer comprehensive advisory and strategic services to address various business challenges to their clients, while expert networks specialize in connecting clients with subject matter experts for specific, targeted expertise and insights. Consultancy firms use expert networks to supplement their internal expertise and provide clients with a broader and deeper pool of knowledge and resources. It allows them to offer more comprehensive, accurate, and specialised solutions to their clients' complex challenges and projects.


Published by Louise Boland October 4, 2023
Louise Boland