Is Your Firm Using Business Intelligence to Improve Profitability?
In analysis / By Andy Lewis / 17 June 2019
The continued adoption of innovative lawtech and the increasing automation of legal services and processes will have a profound effect on the UK legal sector, according to a recent report from The Law Society.
Business Intelligence for Decision Making
We’re seeing a drive in recruitment for different skills outside the usual roles expected within a law firm across many of our clients that chimes with the findings of The Law Society. For example, the report references the increased need for data and analytics expertise in the law firm of the future. Some firms are already recruiting data scientists from leading universities to help them make sense of the vast amounts of data and business intelligence they now have as a result of increased adoption of lawtech.
Business intelligence has, for some time, been adopted into the mainstream commercial sector as an innovative approach to providing extended decision support and knowledge management within a firm; as well as providing additional levels of service to clients. Nasstar has witnessed the focus on business intelligence, case and financial dashboards and business development analytics in the legal sector gathering momentum with progressive, forward thinking practices understanding the value of data and using it to inform the strategic direction of their firm.
Getting Down to Data
The vast majority of legal firms hold a wealth of data internally, within their practice management systems, telephone systems, billing systems and time recording solutions. In most cases, this data is not interrogated or even used apart from the core functionality of processing the individual case in question, therefore providing minimal value to the firm from a strategic standpoint. However, if a firm can decipher and organise its data, transforming it from individual cases or matters into real business intelligence, this is when it can be used to really drive the business forward. Enabling the firm to take better cases, improve case throughput, success rates (via cultural/process realignment) and provide the management team with more valued information to act on.
Utilising business intelligence enables a firm to make tactical and strategic decisions based on fact rather than intuition or ‘gut feel’, much quicker than firms who don’t have access to management information. Having access to the right analytics in an easily digestible format also gives a firm the ability to react quicker to client demands, as well as provide clients with additional levels of information that would be previously unavailable without significant overheads.
Access to data that has been historically challenging to unleash, but can drive unprecedented tactical and strategic change in your practice in areas such as:
- Understanding customer and market trends
- Uncovering lost fees from unbilled activities
- Understanding profitability levels - in real-time - across clients and cases
- Analysing fee-earner performance - understanding what a high biller is doing differently from lower performers
- Forecasting and ensuring your paralegals and support staff have maximum utilisation
- Providing up-to the minute performance statistics of, for example, debts collected from your internal debt collection team
Using Business Intelligence to Stay Competitive
With the legal market beginning to adopt more initiatives to unlock the vast potential hidden in their data, firms must evolve with these initiatives in order to keep their position in the market and maintain their competitive edge.
Nasstar supports many of its legal clients with enhanced decision-making solutions, drawing data and content from multiple line-of-business software solutions and aggregating, analysing and drawing on best practice to enable firms to better manage their performance and improve their bottom line.
This means that firms can create an environment that enables staff and partners to view, analyse and interact with data and monitor performance more effectively. The information is presented instantly through individually designed, unique and highly intuitive dashboards, enabling managing partners to review performance and identify trends at the macro level and then to drill down through the data to understand cause and effect by client, fee earner, practice area and any other metric for which they hold information.
Because effective business intelligence is important to the 60 firms we provide fully managed IT services to – it’s important to us too. We have a dedicated team of analysts who specialise in connecting data sets and extracting that information into effective and dynamic reports for law firms. Before you go out recruiting analysts and database experts, why not see if we can provide BI as a service to you at your firm?