Views and announcements

7 things you might not have known about PA Consulting

  • Written by the team at PA Consulting

    PA Consulting isn’t a traditional consulting firm. It’s different in what it does, and even more in how it does it. It’s an innovation and transformation consultancy. And that means it’s got a long history of taking digital innovation beyond the expected. Here are seven things you might not have known about PA.

    1.    PA has been at the forefront of digital innovation since the 1950s

    PA was at the forefront of assessing the impact of computers on the business world. The firm was a leader in the development of electronic data processing and started its computer and telecoms business in 1958. During the 1960s, it even developed advanced computer-based systems for the Sydney Stock Exchange.

    2.    PA helped shape today’s speech recognition systems

    In 1982, PA developed one of the first speech recognition systems using a mathematical technique known as a hidden Markov model, achieving 97 per cent recognition accuracy. This technology remains current and is an essential part of modern speech recognition systems.

    3.    PA developed artificial intelligence to help companies predict COVID-19 trends

    As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened through 2020, PA helped Unilever create a world-leading predictive tool – COVID-19 Awareness and Situational Intelligence (CASI). CASI is a live dashboard that monitors and accurately predicts COVID-19 trends, providing real-time and predictive intelligence with 75 per cent accuracy for 30-day forecasts. Unilever teams use CASI daily to evolve their workforce strategy to help protect employees while maintaining the supply of products to 2.5 billion consumers worldwide.

    4.    PA is using digital technologies to build a more sustainable world

    Around the world, more than 1.8 billion people will wake up tomorrow without access to clean, safe drinking water, making sanitation, cooking, education and business life a daily struggle. So, PA helped Water Source Australia, a B-Corp start-up, develop an innovative decentralised water treatment facility that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to clean water at the community level, a process that could revolutionise the way millions get water.

    5.    PA puts people at the heart of everything it does

    PA recognises that people make technology effective. It’s people who invent new digital systems. And it’s people who use digital technology to make an impact on the world. That’s why PA prizes its experts.

    “Our purpose, Bringing Ingenuity to Life, drives us. We recognise an inclusive culture invites diversity; and diversity is the fuel for ingenuity. So, we seek and welcome applications from people of every background and diversity characteristic, and work hard to ensure that everyone at PA has the opportunity to bring their true self to work. And we’re committed to listening to, engaging with and learning from all our people as we build a positive human future.”

    Ken Toombs, CEO at PA Consulting.

    6.    PA is inspiring the next generation of innovators and leaders

    PA gives time and expertise to support communities, focusing efforts on inspiring the next generation of ingenious leaders. Young people learn from PA experts through the firm’s Springboard programme, more women get into digital careers thanks to its Women in Tech initiative, and students gain invaluable work experience through its internship programme at the PA Global Innovation and Technology Centre.

    PA’s signature event is its annual Raspberry Pi Competition. Since 2012, the Competition has encouraged school students to invent, design and innovate using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The aim is to inspire children to make an impact on real-world challenges, including sustainability, transport, healthcare and accessibility. And previous winners include Dalriada School in County Antrim.

    7.    PA is always looking for ingenious digital talent

    PA’s passion for digital helps transform organisations’ core business, culture and capabilities. Their digital, data and technology teams collaborate with designers, scientists, engineers and more to conceive and deliver answers to today’s toughest questions.

    With demand for this end-to-end innovation growing every day, PA is always on the lookout for ingenious people to join them. Explore open opportunities at

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story