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Alex Cosmas is a Booz Allen chief scientist specializing in predictive analytics across the transportation, travel, and consumer sectors.
He is a recognized expert in the use of probabilistic and causal models to perform both deductive and inductive reasoning from large data sets. He joined the firm in 2010 and has consulted for Fortune 100 domestic and international companies in the areas of demand modeling, consumer choice, network modeling, revenue management and pricing.
“We are in the business of helping clients monetize their data,” he says. “We don’t stop at solving our client’s toughest problems; our analyses regularly reveal risks and opportunities that our clients weren’t aware of.”
Alex earned his B.S.in applied physics from Columbia Engineering and M.S. degrees in technology policy and aerospace engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Why did you choose Booz Allen? The entrepreneurial model. I came from a traditional commercial consultancy where your path was certain, but dictated to you. Booz Allen offered a build-your-own model where building your own business is the norm.
What type of work do you do at Booz Allen? I am part of the most talented analytics practice in the services industry. We are in the business of helping clients monetize their data. We don’t stop at solving our client’s toughest problems; our analyses regularly reveal risks and opportunities that our clients weren’t aware of. Most importantly, we teach our clients to fish so that they thrive once we’ve left. That’s the transformative part of our job.
How has your background/education helped you be successful at Booz Allen? Top data scientists have the same basic ingredients that a good management consultant will have. They are inquisitive. They don’t stop at answering “what” until they’ve answered “why” and “so what.” I credit much of my own intellectual curiosity to the non-engineering courses—philosophy, literature, political science, economics—I was forced to take as part of my engineering core curriculum. I’d recommend every engineering and science student dedicate at least one course per semester to topics that work a different part of the brain.
What differentiates Booz Allen from other management consulting, technology and engineering services companies? Unlike many of our competitors, Booz Allen leverages not only its own brand but the brand of its individual consultants. The firm is part academic in the way it invests in foundational research, encourages publication and presentation, and inspires thought-leadership. Most importantly, the firm encourages its consultants—at every level—to build their personal branding, expand their professional networks, and develop unrivaled functional or industry expertise. That’s a stark contrast to many traditional consultancies, where your external colleagues typically feel as if you’ve “gone dark” during your consulting tenure.