CXO

Consulting Central: Is it where you need to be?

Consulting Central, a site for consultants, appears full of information possibilities. What lies behind that first click, though? Let Meredith Johnston dig through this site to show you the gold at the bottom.


It’s common to visit a Web site that looks as though it’s chock full of useful information at first glance. Then, as you dig a little deeper, you find that most of what you see are just teasers for items for sale or a subscription service. Such is the case with Consulting Central.

Information possibilities
A good 80 percent of the site is organized in tabs that offer some tempting information possibilities. Assuming that this was the bulk of the content, it was where I went first. Out of all six tabs, there were only 11 fully readable articles. Out of the same six tabs, all of them led to subscription offers, as did the article briefs.

Consulting Central offers
Consulting Magazine 1 year (10 issues) $99
Consultant News $295/yr in the U.S. and Canada $345 international
Global IT Consulting 1 year (12 issues) $895
What’s Working in Consulting 1 year (12 issues) $197
E-services report $895
Reports $995-$4995

While it is a professional-looking site and well-organized, I found it frustrating to read an interesting article summation, and then be directed to a page with the heading “Subscribe now!” If you’re looking for your necessary need-to-knows, this is where you will find it—just prepare to open your wallet.

On the right hand of the site is an informational “Newsclipper.” This looked like a valuable collection of news on the consultant industry. Instead, each brief included a link that simply led to the company’s home page.

Hide-and-seek
On the left navigational bar is a list of sources, everything from recommended reading to careers in consulting. However, the icon above this list read “For CN subscribers only.”

As confusing as it was, this promotion didn’t apply to the underscored headings. I was able to look through everything under the heading without subscribing to any services. The information I found there was really valuable for consultants. Unfortunately, visitors to the site would be likely to miss it entirely unless they were really hunting for it. The recommended reading list, although it pointed to high-priced books and reports, was full of newly released products. There’s also a great consultant directory.

Consulting Central’s home page appears to be chock full of information, but it’s mostly teasers for products.


Another problem with Consulting Central is that the company information is buried. Only after clicking through to ”Careers at Kennedy” did I find a link to ”About Kennedy Information.” I learned that the New Hampshire-based firm publishes Consultants Newsand Global IT Consulting Report, and Consulting magazine, in addition to research reports on consulting compensation, fees and pricing, recruiting, mergers and acquisitions, and other topics.

When you visit Consulting Central, be prepared to do some digging, unless you’re willing to shell out thousands of dollars for Kennedy’s reports and magazines.
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