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Attribute explanations for the beatonbenchmarks

April 24th, 2017 |

The following explanations of the beatonbenchmarks attributes are designed to highlight what matters most to respondents when they rate your firm. While the content of these explanations is largely intuitive, the relative weight given by respondents to the attributes’ constituent elements is useful in determining where to invest your firm’s effort.   To download the full explanation document, click this link:

Attribute explanations_beaton


The method for this attribute analysis was simple. We asked beatonbenchmarks survey respondents to define our attributed, categorising and summarising their responses below.

Note that the y-axis refers to ‘% of mentions’, i.e. the mentions of a particular element as a percentage of all mentions. These mentions are not mutually exclusive, as some respondents mention multiple elements. It should be noted that elements of an attribute with only few mentions were omitted from this analysis to maintain focus on more important elements.

A high proportion of mentions is an imperfect proxy for importance – an element with few mentions may be highly collinear with an element with many mentions. However, a high proportion of mentions reflects the fact that when thinking about these attributes, specific elements of the attributes are top of mind for most clients.  

These explanations should therefore be seen as a high level summary of what the attributes in the beatonbenchmarks mean to the majority of respondents. It should complement, not supplement, knowing your clients and tailoring your service to their individual expectations.

A final point – respondents were not asked to define ‘Expertise in your area of need’ and it therefore does not appear in this analysis. However, we can safely assert that it would load on to the Expertise factor of beaton’s factor analysis if included, and that its definition by respondents would have substantial overlap with Technical Expertise.

Example - Cost consciousness


Appropriate scoping (43%) is the most mentioned element of Cost consciousness. That is, accurately scoping the work to be done at a size and cost suitable for the client. The second most mentioned element of Cost consciousness is Good value (23%). Relatively minor elements according to respondents include not overcharging for simple work (Pricing by complexity/not profiteering at 12%), Efficiency (10%), Transparent costing (7%) and Proactive communication with respect to costs (4%). Only a very small proportion of respondents mentioned cheap pricing as representing Cost consciousness.  

Accordingly, the best ROE is likely to be achieved in this attribute through scoping work appropriately.

Concluding comments

Close study of these explanations of the attributes used in the beatonbenchmarks reveals considerable overlap. This is not unexpected as individuals use different interpretations of the same phrase when answering a question. To the extent possible, beaton has separated the meanings of each attribute in a way that is practically actionable by firms.

These explanations are not profession specific. This is because beaton has found that there are no significant differences in responses across different professions. This lends weight to our hypothesis that despite nuances, there are fundamental commonalities in client service and project delivery that apply across the professions.

Important notice

All the material in this post is the property of Beaton Research + Consulting Pty Ltd. It is intended for the purposes of assisting subscribers to the beatonbenchmarks interpret and take action on their beatonbenchmarks report. Subscribers to beatonbenchmarks reports are bound by the Terms & Conditions of their subscription, a copy of which may be obtained from .    

Further reading on Attribute definitions for the beatonbenchmarks

Note on technical improvements to beatonbenchmarks

Five ways Beaton Benchmarks 2016 value proposition is better than ever (with video)


Ben FarrowBen Farrow is a Consulting Analyst at beaton. He holds degrees in commerce and law from the University of Melbourne and delivers clear, actionable advice to clients. You can connect with Ben on LinkedIn and contact him at

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