The way we work has changed and has been changing for many years now. Today, it is not enough to keep doing things the way you’ve always done them – the “if it ain’t broke” approach – as even if you think you’re running your operation effectively, there are always spaces where firms, including legal firms, can improve and optimise the way they work. For many legal firms, data analysis is spearheading this effort and helping them to be successful in today’s changing world.
There have been numerous articles on the importance of data analytics in the legal sector. The different uses of data analytics for the legal sector are virtually limitless, but we can simplify them into three strategic tenets, namely, client/revenue growth through existing and new services, better cost savings through improved optimisation and productivity and more robust compliance and better risk management.
Improving Your Service
Today, clients expect any top law firm to be able to produce a legal document, therefore the true differentiation between you and your competitors is around the advice, guidance and value-added services these law firms can provide. For example, insurance firms want their legal suppliers to provide them insight into the best course of action based on the type of case, risk profile and even the protagonists involved. The best advice in cases like these will be based on your firm’s experience and accurate analysis of historical cases. Data analytics allows you to not just take insights from memory, but to utilise data to give your clients the best possible advice based on accurate and data-driven analytics.
Secondly, law firms need to market their services to both new and existing clients. To do this effectively, you’ll need to understand services, campaigns and messages resonate with your different target audiences, and equally importantly, what doesn’t.
Optimising for Costs
Understanding exactly how your services are delivered, and at what cost, is hugely important to legal firms today, as more rigid/fixed fee structures become a larger part of your revenue streams. In recent years, the larger law firms have invested in dedicated pricing teams to ensure that any pitches are both competitive and accurately costed. Data analytics can help support these teams in their work to make sure your organisation is getting the most out of everything you do, but can also be used by smaller businesses looking to optimise their costing and billing processes.
Protecting Your Organisation
As regulatory requirements become increasingly complex for the legal sector and their clients, firms need to be able to identify where there are potential risks in their business data, throughout its lifecycle, as well as understanding the scale and scope of these risks. This knowledge can help you to implement the necessary data management and retention policies to protect your clients and your business model in an ever-changing world. This, among so many other reasons, is what makes data analytics so important to legal firms.
Finally, core to any data analytics is the requirement that the base data analysed is correct. Whilst it is better for a law firm to have a proactive data analytics strategy than not, a data analytic based on poor quality data can be very damaging to any business. To that end, when designing a coherent data analytics strategy, law firms need to ensure that an effective approach to data quality underpins this.
Whilst a limited set, the scenarios above just go to demonstrate that effective data analytics are now the building blocks of any strategic decision in a law firm. To find out more about how Intelligent Delivery Solution’s data profiling and quality portfolio is underpinning a law firm’s data analytics strategy, simply get in touch with the Intelligent Delivery Solutions team.
Author: Jon Roscow, IDS Commercial Manager
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