The Advisory Board Company

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The Advisory Board Company
Industry Health care and higher education: Research & Insights, Performance Technology, Consulting & Management Services, Talent Development
Founded 1979
Founder David G. Bradley
Headquarters Washington, DC, United States
Area served
Key people
Robert Musslewhite
• Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Frank Williams
• Vice Chairman
David Felsenthal
• President
Michael Kirshbaum
• Chief Financial Officer
Mary Van Hoose
• Chief Talent Officer
Chas Roades
• Chief Research Officer, Health Care Practice
Scott Fassbach
• Chief Research Officer, Education Practice
Number of employees

The Advisory Board Company is a global research, technology, and consulting firm partnering with more than 230,000 leaders in more than 5,000 organizations across health care and higher education.


The company was founded by David G. Bradley in 1979 as the Research Council of Washington with five employees. Its original mission was to answer "any question for any company for any industry," but in 1983 the company began to specialize in research for the financial services industry and changed its name to The Advisory Board Company. By 1986, The Advisory Board Company had launched its health care-focused strategic research division, including its first membership program, the Health Care Advisory Board.[1]

Across the next four years the firm grew to 150 employees, served more than 500 health care members, and published 15 major reports and 2,000 research briefs each year. In 1993, the firm launched a strategic research membership for large companies, bringing on almost half of the Fortune 500 within 18 months. The firm expanded in 1994 to include its first clinically based program, the Cardiology Roundtable—which has since evolved to become the Cardiovascular Roundtable—providing best practices to the nations’ cardiac programs.

In 1997, The Advisory Board Company spun off its corporate membership group, forming The Corporate Executive Board (now CEB Inc.) as an independent company. The Advisory Board Company maintained its focus on the health care sector, working with more than 1,500 health care organizations. H*Works, a consulting business offering best practice implementation support launched in 2000, followed shortly by The Advisory Board Company’s initial public offering in 2001, in which Bradley sold his ownership interest.

By 2002, the firm topped 2,100 memberships and 500 employees, and launched The Advisory Board Academies leadership development division—now the company's Talent Development division—to address the leadership gap in health care. In 2003, The Advisory Board Company was named to Washingtonian’s Great Places to Work and launched its business intelligence and analytics offering, Compass, providing memberships anchored by robust decision support tools. In 2005, the firm was named to Forbes’ Top 200 High-Growth Companies and again to Washingtonian's Great Places to Work.[2]

In 2007, The Advisory Board Company launched its first membership programs in higher education (see below for more information), working with student and academic affairs executives at several U.S. research universities.[3] The firm continued to grow across 2008, acquiring Crimson, a data, analytics, and business intelligence software provider focused on physician performance, quality metrics, and cost of care outcomes.

By 2009, The Advisory Board Company had opened its doors in San Francisco, marking the fourth U.S. office. The firm also grew to over 1,000 employees and over 2,800 health care and higher education members. The Advisory Board Company expanded its capabilities in the physician management terrain through the acquisition of Southwind, a management and consulting firm focused on aligning hospitals and physicians through a comprehensive set of physician employment, clinical integration, and information technology deployment solutions. During this time, The Advisory Board Company was named to Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work—an honor it has received every year since.[4]

From 2010 to 2011, The Advisory Board Company continued to expand, acquiring and partnering with a series of technology firms, including Milliman MedInsight, which provides population risk analytics, Cielo MedSolutions, which provides ambulatory patient registry software, and PivotHealth, a physician practice management firm.

In 2012, The Advisory Board Company acquired ActiveStrategy,[5] a performance improvement technology firm, and 360Fresh,[6] a leading provider of clinical data analytics. The firm also was named as one of Healthcare Informatics' top 100 health care IT firms[7] and Modern Healthcare's top 40 fastest-growing health care firms list.[8] During that year, the firm also provided $1 million in benefit to non-profit organizations through its Community Impact program.

In 2013, the firm was named the “#1 Best Large Company to Work For” by Modern Healthcare magazine.[9] It also became the first for-profit company of its size to achieve 100% participation in community service.

That year, the Advisory Board acquired Care Team Connect,[10] a care management workflow platform, and launched the Student Success Collaborative, a software-based program that helps colleges and universities improve outcomes for at-risk and off-path students. The company also announced the acquisition of Medical Referral Source, a technology firm with software that facilitates a seamless referral process.[11]

2014 brought the acquisitions of HealthPost,[12] which helps health systems reduce referral leakage and attract new patients, and Royall & Company, which provides the higher education industry with data-driven student engagement and enrollment management solutions.[13]

The company’s Community Impact program, meanwhile, received the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence from Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.[14] The firm also partnered with the de Beaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch the BUILD Health Challenge to identify and support health partnerships taking bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven approaches to improving health in low-income, urban communities.[15]

As of 2015, the company has grown to more than 3,400 employees, with 12 offices on three continents and more than 5,000 member organizations in the health care and higher education fields.

The company also announced its acquisition of Clinovations, an EMR optimization firm serving providers at the intersection of clinician workflows and information technology, and GradesFirst, a student success technology company with workflow software that enables colleges and universities to identify, engage, and support at-risk students.[16]

Products & Services[edit]

The Advisory Board Company partners with organizations across health care and higher education. It provides strategic guidance, web-based software solutions, and implementation and management services.

Research & Insights Memberships[edit]

The company's research memberships provide guidance, best practices, and forecasting and analytical tools related to strategic, clinical, and operational topics affecting leaders across hospital and non-hospital health care organizations, domestic and international businesses, and higher education.

Performance Technologies[edit]

Organizations use The Advisory Board Company's analytic web applications to get visibility into performance, identify improvement opportunities, and make timely course corrections across a variety of terrains, including:

  • Physician issues
  • All phases of the revenue cycle
  • Cost and operations
  • Student success

Consulting and Management Services[edit]

Advisory Board Consulting and Management provides hands-on best practice implementation support, practice management solutions, and physician alignment services focused on:

  • Growth
  • Margins
  • Physician alignment
  • The transition to value

Talent Development[edit]

The Advisory Board Company works with hospitals and health systems to cultivate leaders; the firm also partners with organizations to drive workforce engagement through two survey offerings, the Employee Engagement Initiative and the Physician Engagement Initiative.


Established in 2007, the Education Advisory Board (EAB) provides best practice research, data analytics, and consulting services to more than 1,000 colleges and universities across North America and Europe. At launch, EAB worked with university provosts at a few dozen research universities in the United States. Provosts remain central to EAB's work, but the firm now partners with almost every member of the president’s cabinet, as well as the heads of most key academic and administrative units on campus. EAB now serves more than 26,000 senior administrators and staff at member institutions.

In December 2014, EAB announced the acquisition of Royall & Company, which provides data-driven enrollment management, financial aid optimization, and alumni fundraising services. Royall & Company focuses on:

  • Undergraduate recruitment and enrollment: Royall targets qualified prospective freshmen and transfer students and builds relationships with desired students throughout the search, application, and yield process.
  • Graduate recruitment and enrollment: Royall helps partners meet strategic and financial goals by identifying, recruiting, and enrolling the right students for their law school, business school, and other graduate degree programs.
  • Financial aid optimization: Working directly with colleges and universities, Hardwick Day, a division of Royall & Company, conducts complex analysis, develops financial aid policy, and builds customized award models aimed at maximizing net tuition revenue, recruitment, and enrollment.
  • Advancement: Royall partners with college and university advancement offices to increase dollars raised, build pipelines for leadership and major giving, and increase alumni participation through analytically based, donor-centric direct marketing programs.

In February 2015 [17]EAB Announced the acquisition of Grades First.

Notable current and former employees[edit]


  1. ^ "". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "About Us". Education Advisory Board. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare - 2009 (Alphabetical List)". Modern Healthcare. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Fischer, Ben (2 November 2012). "Advisory Board's latest buy goes back to basics". Washington Business Journal. 
  6. ^ Fischer, Ben (6 February 2013). "Advisory Board Co. buys tech firm 360Fresh". Washington Business Journal. 
  7. ^ "2012 HCI 100". Healthcare Informatics. 
  8. ^ "Healthcare's Hottest for 2012; 40 of the healthcare industry's fastest growing companies". Modern Healthcare. 21 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "2013 Best Places to Work in Healthcare - Ranked (Large Companies)". Modern Healthcare. 25 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Modern Healthcare". 
  11. ^ Fischer, Ben (31 July 2013). "Advisory Board buys Ariz. tech firm for $11.5M". Washington Business Journal. 
  12. ^ Baum, Stephanie (12 May 2014). "Physician appointment scheduling startup HealthPost snapped up in $25M deal". MedCity News. 
  13. ^ "The Advisory Board to acquire Royall & Co. for $850 million". Virginia Business. 10 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Points of Light Recognizes The Advisory Board Company and UnitedHealth Group for Employee Volunteer Programs". Points of Light. 17 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Build Health Challenge home page". 
  16. ^ Kangarloo, Kasra (17 February 2015). "Two ed-tech acquisitions you might have missed". Washington Business Journal. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b "Obama names Chopra, Zients to top posts". Washington Business Journal (Advance Publications). April 17, 2009. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 

External links[edit]