About Nicolaus

Nicolaus is the leader of McKinsey Analytics and the chairman of QuantumBlack, an advanced analytics firm operating at the intersection of strategy, technology, and design.  

Guiding a team of more than 3,000 data scientists, platform engineers, and analytics consultants, Nicolaus oversees our efforts to bring insights from big data and advanced analytics into our advisory work. This often involves working with clients to evaluate strategic moves, foster operational transformations, and build capabilities to capture opportunities from data and analytics. Against a backdrop of rapid change in this evolving domain, he also enhances our ability to deliver distinctive analytics-based consulting by pursing investments in talent and technology and establishing new strategic partnerships.

In his advisory work with clients, Nicolaus supports top executives across industries as they seek to improve both human and organizational performance. For example, he has guided a leading consumer packaged goods manufacturer through the process of building an analytics platform and team. And he has worked with a regulatory agency to shift to a risk-evaluation-based approach, using sophisticated analytics. 

Nicolaus’ passion for analytics was largely inspired by his work serving institutions in the healthcare sector. As the leader of our global Healthcare Systems & Services Practice for more than a decade, he saw firsthand the potential for data analytics to improve the quality of management and strategic decision making. Working with more than 50 health systems around the world, he led efforts to pursue analytics-based opportunities such as the potential to integrate care by using population-oriented delivery models.

Strongly interested in discussion and debate, Nicolaus frequently offers his perspectives on the future of healthcare, data, and analytics at events hosted by Forbes, the Milken Institute, the World Economic Forum, and other institutions. He also convenes private gatherings of executives to network and share their insights into big data and healthcare topics.

Beyond his client advisory work, Nicolaus serves on the board of Innovations in Healthcare at Duke Medicine, an organization that he helped found, and on the Dean's Advisory Council at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard, where he was a John J. McCloy scholar.


"Data analytics: Changing the practice of medicine," YouTube, April 2013

Published work

"The age of analytics: Competing in a data-driven world," McKinsey Global Institute, December 2016

"Straight talk about big data," McKinsey & Company, August 2016

"The emerging market in healthcare innovation," McKinsey Quarterly, May 2010

"Healthcare costs: A market-based view" (PDF-505 KB), McKinsey Quarterly, September 2008

"What's working in healthcare reform," Health International, Issue 7

"Healthcare century," Health International, Issue 7


University of Münster
PhD, business

University of Münster

Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
MPA, public administration