McKinsey launches an open-source ecosystem for digital and AI projects

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of a McKinsey open-source ecosystem that will host products from across the firm, including some of our leading-edge technologies and IP in AI including generative AI, digital, and cloud.  

The first major release in our collection is Vizro, a new component from our QuantumBlack Horizon suite, which helps users visualize data from their AI models.

In addition to Vizro, the new ecosystem will host CausalNex, a tool for building cause-and-effect models that has been available to the public since 2020 through QuantumBlack Labs’ GitHub organization.

“Open source has become a foundational element of how we deliver organizational transformation for our clients globally, because it enables technologists to adapt our methodologies and toolkits to meet their distinct needs,” explains Alexander Sukharevsky, a senior partner and global leader of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey. “It is also our way to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth and narrow the digital divide.” 

The open-source ecosystem can be accessed at GitHub

Joel Schwarzmann, a product manager for QuantumBlack Labs, working on a laptop
Joel Schwarzmann, principal product manager at QuantumBlack, is a maintainer of our open-source offerings
Joel Schwarzmann, a product manager for QuantumBlack Labs, working on a laptop

This milestone builds on our open-source momentum. In 2022 we released Kedro, a Python toolbox that streamlines the creation of machine-learning pipelines, to the Linux Foundation’s AI & Data incubator so it could evolve as an open standard. Early this year, we acquired Iguazio, whose open-source projects Nuclio and MLRun are integral to their strategy.

“We are on a journey to be known for our technology capabilities as much as our strategic advice,” says Rodney Zemmel, a senior partner and global leader of McKinsey Digital. “This new ecosystem illustrates the firm’s belief and investment in open-source standards and gives all of our 6000+ technologists the opportunity to contribute their expertise and help clients gain the most value from their technology investments.” 

…this new ecosystem illustrates the firm’s belief and investment in open source standards and gives all of our 6000+ technologists the opportunity to contribute their expertise…

Rodney Zemmel, senior partner and global leader of McKinsey Digital

Many businesses are struggling to scale their AI projects. In a recent survey, only 3 percent of companies have embedded AI in at least five business functions. Organizations are finding it takes as long to develop the 15th model as it did the first. Generative AI use cases, which have grown exponentially, are especially challenging due to the complexity of managing very large datasets and models.

Our Horizon suite, announced in June, helps clients overcome these challenges and reduces the time it takes to realize value from their AI portfolios. It establishes a factory-like approach to delivering accurate data across all sources; building and monitoring scalable, integrated models; and ensuring transparency for quick, reliable decision making.

Vizro, a tool that visualizes AI model data

Vizro, the newest Horizon component, creates high-quality visualizations that allows users to better explore and analyze data from their models. In a matter of hours rather than weeks, teams can collaborate to define insights and present them to clients in live workshops or demos.

Tables and charts on Vizro
Tables and charts on Vizro

Before Vizro, building dashboards required much longer timeframes, and often meant securing additional, scarce, front-end engineering or design talent.

“What once required thousands of lines of code and extra staff to build, now can be accomplished in a day,” explains Joe Perkins, the product manager who led the ten-person team developing the tool.

Vizro components are plug-and-play to maximize flexibility and scaling. A high level of visual design, code and data quality, and best practices are built into the tool, which also integrates industry and functional knowledge and leverages the power of open-source tools such as Plotly and Dash.

“This accelerates the creation process and provides consistency and a high quality of output,” Joe says. “It all goes to increasing the client's understanding and trust in the data and insights.”

Blue waves in a circular pattern

Generative AI: Capturing the opportunity

Horizon command center helps you understand ROI on data & AI initiatives

In addition to Vizro, the Horizon suite has been enhanced with a new “command center” functionality for AI initiatives. It helps technology leaders see the status, adoption, and impact of their overall AI projects down to the individual use case, as measured by relevant business KPIs.

Yetunde Dada, product director, Horizon
Yetunde Dada, senior director of product management, leads the product and open-sourcing strategy for Horizon
Yetunde Dada, product director, Horizon

The tool will help leaders analyze the health and productivity of an organization’s AI implementation, to flag roadblocks and opportunities for scaling.

“Often organizations don’t know exactly how many use cases they are running because they are dispersed across the divisions, let alone how productive they are,” explains Matt Fitzpatrick, a senior partner and leader of QuantumBlack Labs. “With our command center, leaders can scan the landscape of their AI implementations and understand their value in terms that are meaningful to them, such as adoption status and ROI.”  

“The pace of AI development, in particular, has been stunning, and capturing and applying these new capabilities is extremely complex,” says Alex Singla, a senior partner and global leader of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey. “It can only be done through the intense collaboration and accelerated learning that comes from working within the open-source community.”

Going forward, Horizon will become our firm’s platform for incubating, supporting, promoting and ultimately open sourcing more tools. Of the eleven Horizon components today, four are already available: Kedro and Vizro from QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and MLRun and Nuclio from Iguazio.

The new open-source collection can be found on GitHub.

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