The Advisory Board Company 667 Reviews | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Reviews

Updated February 19, 2017
667 reviews

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3.4
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The Advisory Board Company CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
402 Ratings

667 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The company has a good work life balance (in 100 reviews)

  • Great benefits including 21 days off (in 44 reviews)

Cons
  • Not good work life balance, you might end up working weekends a couple of times (in 61 reviews)

  • A low starting salary and long hours for entry level jobs (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (9)

    "Meaningful work in a changing market"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've been with the firm long enough to understand how things actually work internally, but not so long that I'm insulated from the realities of working elsewhere. I've waited to post a review until I felt like I could lay out both the positives and negatives of working here, because both exist.

    No review is going to be comprehensive, but overall the biggest positives of ABC are:

    1. We do genuinely meaningful work in health care and higher education, and the vast majority of employees/leaders are truly bought in to the mission. There's a real sense of purpose among the groups I've been exposed to (which is a lot of them across both businesses and multiple locations), and not the kind of manufactured kool-aid drinking you might see behind a new widget for a banking company. People come (and stay) at ABC because they believe the firm's work has a real and lasting impact on people's lives. And it does.

    2. Generally speaking, the people are incredible. Even negative reviews seem to agree, and while there are young managers in some places, the firm invests heavily in providing growth opportunities and the training to level up in your career. Everyone's mileage will vary, but I've had the best managers of my career at ABC and have been given more autonomy to be creative (while getting my job done) here than anywhere else I've worked.

    3. The culture is authentic. The firm's proud of it and isn't shy about selling it, but the community- and wellness-focused culture is real and goes deep. Employees really do volunteer during the work day. People do, in general, have flexibility in their work schedule to balance it with the demands of personal life. We get an insane amount of PTO which we are actually encouraged to use, and the other benefits support a strong work/life balance.

    4. There's a lot of opportunity to grow and advance. ABC's products and services span a wide range, and charting a path through different departments/positions is encouraged and supported. The firm sells that to potential candidates, and I was skeptical that it would really be something they support, but I've seen it happen regularly at very junior and very senior levels. They can't/won't create dream jobs out of thin air, but both business leaders and HR seem to genuinely believe that helping employees move into new roles aligned with their interests is good for business and good for employees.

    Cons

    Is it perfect? Of course not. Some downsides and challenges are:

    1. The organizational structure is downright complicated. Some of this seems to be because of the way the company has grown over time, but it's hard (particularly as a new employee) to have a strong grasp of how all the pieces fit together. If your role doesn't require exposure to other parts of the business, you probably won't know much about it unless you go out of your way to learn. That said, in an effort address the org complexity as well as the slow growth on the health care side of the business...

    2. ...the health care side of the business restructured and roles were eliminated. This was hard and kind of scary, and I personally had friends and colleagues who were affected. That said, I think most people could see a strategic shift for health care was long overdue, and senior leadership has been falling all over itself in eagerness to explain the strategy and how it will streamline and focus the business on the path back to growth. In general there's a lot of uncertainty in the health care market post-election (potential repeal of ACA, etc.), so it's a challenging time to be in this business and ABC's going to have to place the right bets in a dynamic environment. The education part of the business seems to growing like crazy.

    3. If you aren't based in DC, your reality is (by default) going to be a little different. You aren't going to have as many executive visits/presentations, and you may be a remote participant in some of the large-scale things that go on at the DC headquarters. Each non-DC office seems to have its own local thing going, and in some ways that uniqueness is fun, but the groups can also feel isolated. That may be more a reality of a geographically dispersed business than something particular to ABC, but it's worth noting.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to (over)communicate the new health care strategy and be transparent on how we're doing against it, continue to invest in career development for employees, continue focusing on work/life balance, and continue to be mission-driven (again, it's why people come and why people stay).


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Dedicated Advisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    Culture, work life balance, and access to healthcare learning and content is unmatchable

    Cons

    Transparency about future state and organization restructuring is lacking


  3. "Overall, a nice company to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    25 Days PTO + Holidays
    Flexible WFH Policy

    Cons

    Overworked + boring work


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  5. "ABC is a great place with lots of challenges and learnings"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of health care data makes you realize why hospitals need us more than ever such as for reducing care variation or optimizing revenue and cost. Data First philosophy is big push to build enterprise analytics.

    Cons

    RAPID needs to be quicker. Sometimes it takes long to make decisions with a clear D (decision maker).

    Advice to Management

    Faster decision making. Also PMs need to build clear roadmap for long term goals.


  6. "Great people, recent rocky business"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People, benefits, & development opportunities

    Cons

    Rocky business and internal inefficiencies


  7. Helpful (3)

    "A good start to your healthcare career, but not a forever job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Dedicated Advisor in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Dedicated Advisor in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good culture that adapts and changes to the healthcare landscape. They have a strong mission and values that they ensure their employees know and embed in their work. The Austin office is a much more laid back atmosphere and I would highly recommend working from that office if possible. They offer nice amenities by accommodating employees with a nice modern office, game tables, modern furniture, and community areas that offer free Coca Cola products as well as coffee and tea. ABC is a good company that cares about truly improving healthcare.

    Cons

    The Advisory Board is currently looking to sell the company which is not going over well with employees as we are certain they are more concerned with appeasing investors than their dedicated employees. When I first started I fell in love with ABC but as of late, have started to realize they truly care more about making money than improving healthcare. One of our corporate members came to the office a few months back and when she was proposed a question regarding money and our mission she said, without money you can't have a mission. Although this is true it isn't comforting to employees that are more concerned with helping hospitals as compared to charging them $100,000 a year for a product that works but still needs a large amount of improvement. Also their products are very good at solving one problem and they don't talk to each other. So instead of creating a few really good products they charge hospitals way too much money for each individual product on a subscription basis that adds up quickly. Also it is luck of the draw with your manager my first manager was amazing and I wish I could have followed her to her current product line but now I was given a first time manager who is very good at pointing out mistakes and shortfalls through micromanaging. Therefore I am now on the job search for something better.

    Advice to Management

    Don't sell the company. I can almost guarantee you (whether you sell or not) that you will no longer be in the Top 100 healthcare employers come 2018. Your employees bust their butts to make your products work for members who really don't think it solves their problems. Due to recent conversations I can tell you are starting to understand that but frankly I don't think you will be able to produce solutions utilizing technology fast enough. I can't even get them to make simple improvements to my product line within a year. Your development team needs an overhaul because they are just not getting it done fast enough to be competitive. They are also very adamantly unresponsive and don't accept feedback or tasks well. Regardless, you have done the worst thing a growing company can do and that is instill fear in their loyal employees by threatening to sell the company. We are smart and understand that no matter what you say, when you sell the company, no one is ever safe (At this scale). I wish the best for the firm.


  8. "Not the same old wonder office space"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ETL Developer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - ETL Developer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company (More than a year)

    Pros

    U can learn at your own pace

    Cons

    No work life balance. Management sucks


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Healthcare Performance Technology Division leaderless and lost"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    the company has a strong reputation, intelligent people, and incredible analysis. This company provides impressive insight to keep healthcare systems working at their best, especially within the current confusion in the market.

    Cons

    The Performance Technology division is now an anchor on the company. People are leaving or planning to leave because leadership does not want to hear they are doing a poor job. Despite an activist shareholder calling the company "mismanaged", leadership is continuing with business as usual. stay away from this division until announcements are made about new leadership, new ownership, or something indicating changes are near.

    Advice to Management

    There's a reason why people keep leaving and the division keeps making less money...starts at the top. It;s time to cut loose the legacy leadership who grew the company on M&A and not on organic growth. many good people are walking away and no one seems to be doing anything to stop it...been a one way door heading out all of 2016.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "What Could Have Been"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working arrangements, very reasonable benefits for this day and age (the cost of the benefits does not rise nearly as much as the industry standard), very smart and committed people in certain parts of the company.

    Cons

    The parts of the company with the really smart people are not in the technology side of the house. Too much NIH ("Not Invented Here") in all of the technical organizations makes for re-invention of basic tools, wasted development time, lack of vision, and mind-numbingly poor decision-making. Elliott Management's recent investment in the firm is leaving things a bit uncertain.

    Advice to Management

    Stop listening to the people that have been in the same position for years on the technology side. There is a reason the firm is not able to compete in the technology space. This was an area that was ours for the taking, and you ceded the advantage of member relationships and "first in the space" positioning to poor technology leaders that only accidentally happened into their roles initially, and the executive staff did not (and still does not) recognize the need for installing technical leaders who will deliver. You need to recognize that lack of performance and delivery on the technology side is not because the marketplace is all of a sudden more competitive, it's because your technology leaders (senior directors to svps) are not capable of delivering, and make the changes necessary. Otherwise, consider outsourcing the entire technology function or selling it. There's no reason to continue throwing good money after bad, after all.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Poor Communication Led to Poor Execution"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are the best perk. You work with smart, interesting, and professional individuals who will make your day brighter. There were some cool social events. The PTO is next-level: 21-25 days per year, plus a few that the company will gift you.

    Cons

    Communication is really lacking. Recent offshoring is leading to quality issues. Mid-level management agrees, but upper-level management pushes onward. Pay is below industry standard. Benefits have increased dramatically in cost, with no increase in quality of coverage. Work/life balance (for my position) will disappear unless you fight for it, and even then is tenuous at points.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your US employees and in quality. Be wary of transitions that seem to good to be true - they often are. Ask newer hires (1-2 yrs with the company) how long it took for them to be truly trained - this should be your scope. Finally, consider the amount of transitions that teams and products can take at once. Change is good, too much change is stifling.



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