How to Successfully Conclude a Case Study


Knowing how to successfully conclude a case study is one of the most important parts of every case interview. A strong conclusion shows how well you summarize the entire case solution into a couple of points. In addition, it proves that you can successfully back up your arguments with both quantitative and qualitative facts. It’s also the very last point of the case, thus the point clients remember the most. 


How to Successfully Conclude a Case Study - Best Practice Approaches 

Take time

Take approximately 30 seconds before concluding the case, and use this time to jot down key messages you want to touch on during your recommendation. You want to have your ideas sorted out in advance so that you speak clearly and concisely, covering each point without referring back to your notes. 


Practice the art of the elevator pitch

Ideally, your final recommendation should not exceed more than one minute. It is a way to mimic day-to-day interactions with our clients when we are asked to give them key pointers in a short summary. 


Answer first and answer focused

As you will see more in detail with Prepmatter cases, in many case types, you should start with the answer. However, in certain case types where the client has a business problem yet to be diagnosed (e.g., competitive response strategy, profitability, operations), it’s best to start with your diagnosis and then provide recovery solutions. 


Allocate time correctly

Make sure to allocate most of your time to the delivery of a solution and its supporting evidence. Some candidates spend half - if not more - of their time in delivering risks and next steps, which dilutes the key messages in the recommendation. Conclude the case in the following structure: 

  • Recommendation: Give a one-sentence action-oriented recommendation. 
  • Three reasons for this recommendation: List two quantitative and qualitative facts you generated while solving the case. Make sure the facts complement each other and do not overlap (MECE).
    • First supporting fact with figures (quantitative) 
    • Second supporting fact with figures (quantitative)
    • Third supporting fact (qualitative)
  • Risks: Comment on the potential risks assessed during the case. Try to mention them in a way supporting your conclusion. 
  • Next steps: Provide direction on how they should act going forward based on the recommendation.


Example of a Strong Conclusion

  • Recommendation: 
    • I suggest the client should go ahead with this investment and enter the cosmetics market with their new product.
  • Three reasons for this recommendation:
    • With this investment, the client can make an $800M profit over the next three years, which is higher than our objective of $600M. 
    • The cosmetics market is expected to grow at a 9% annual growth rate over the next 10 years, promising sustainable value in the long term. 
    • We can create synergies by combining our back-end operations with our existing business. 
  • Risks: There is a regulatory risk given that the authorities increase their health restrictions related to cosmetics products. The client should make sure that they spend additional effort to comply with all regulations. 
  • Next steps: As the next step, I suggest the client design a detailed production plan for the new product. 


How to Practice Case Conclusions

There are various ways to practice concluding a case. Practice with the Prepmatter cases or any other case you may have. You can change the numbers in the case to create hypothetical facts and draw a new conclusion. By doing so, you can also change the recommendation if the numbers change significantly. For instance, if you change the 3-year profits to $400M from $800M in the example above, the recommendation would change from ‘Go’ to ‘No-go’. 


Knowing how to successfully conclude a case study is a critical part of each case interview, so we recommend you set aside specific time to review it with your coach or case partner. Take time to solve as many cases as possible to improve how well you summarize, support, and present your conclusion.