KPMG International announced the launch of KPMG Insights Labs, a virtual research and development center to serve as a global innovation hub to incubate and develop data-driven business solutions for KPMG member firms’ clients.

The latest expansion in the Big Four firm’s portfolio of data and analytics solutions and services, the Insights Labs will undertake R&D for the assets acquired by KPMG Capital and for existing KPMG intellectual property, with hub locations in the U.K., U.S. and India.

Announced November 2013, KPMG Capital is a fund created to accelerate innovation in D&A solutions. Since December, KPMG member firms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia announced a number of acquisitions or partnerships designed to offer D&A and digital solutions to clients to help them manage risk and cost, and drive growth.

The Insights Lab was created to provide an environment where new D&A applications can be developed, proof of concept deigns demonstrated and verified, and ideas incubated.

"The Insights Labs are intended to fill a critical gap for clients," stated Mark Toon, global leader of data & analytics and CEO of KPMG Capital. "While companies are quickly pursuing strategies to capture and examine their data – the 'Big Data' chase – what we're providing is an environment for putting data-driven solutions to the test. The Labs were designed with input from member firms' clients and alliance partners, and will help them to explore and pressure-test new applications and simulate real scenarios to derive insights faster."

The first, critical areas to go through the Insights Lab R&D process will include new applications for customer analytics, competitive positioning, regulatory compliance and predictive modeling for clients in financial services, telecommunications, healthcare and life sciences and retail.

The KPMG Insights Labs are modeled on prototype lab environments in which KPMG firms’ professionals work with clients to test data-driven applications and derive insights.

"More than ever, businesses need decisions backed by insight, and the KPMG Insight Labs have been created to accelerate the pace of innovation in a secure and controlled environment, helping clients arrive at greater insights more quickly,” stated Eddie Short, head of KPMG's Insights Labs and KPMG's data & analytics practice for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. "We will bring together specialists from KPMG member firms and the broader business community to enable clients to experience firsthand the 'art of the possible' and the 'art of the probable' in leveraging their data for faster, more insightful decisions."

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