Not all firms utilize the data at their fingertips to their greatest advantage be it for internal efficiencies and talent acquisition; to shaping strategies at trial and maximizing value to clients. Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Legal Profession explored the unique challenges of changing culture, communicating findings internally and with clients and how to build practices and firms that are set to compete at the highest level.
Earlier this week we attended and sponsored the ARK Group’s Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Legal Profession Conference. Industry events are a great place to network and hear other professionals real-world experience with legal tools. Their aim for this conference was-- " to accelerate productivity across key firm dimensions - driving the development of standards, metrics and processes reflective of the firm’s broader business strategy” --and it did just that. This conference sparked the idea to share a little bit from the Key Note Address. Bennett Borden, Chief Data Scientist and Chair, Information Governance at Drinker Biddle & Reath discussed the Revolution of the Practice of law, here's a quick recap:
As we know, information is everything, it is the most fundamental resource and honestly every company is considered an "information company." While most of that is electronic, it's happening all the time, everywhere we go, with almost everything we come in contact with. Bennett gave examples of Alexa and Apple Watch that help us to understand human conduct in a way we never were 10 years ago. Products and technology like that give us an unparalleled market efficiency. We know the right time, place, consumer, cost, price, the list goes on. What we can do in the world is SO far ahead of the law industry it's pretty insane. Reading this you are probably thinking exactly what Bennett touched on next in his keynote address. "As lawyers we don't care about all of that." Exactly, all lawyers care about is two major things:
1. What happened and why?
2. What was the cause?
So how and where can law firms actually use the data? These are just a few items discussed in the session:
- Fact development
- M&A due diligence, segregating data, clean up for sale
- Class action data analysis
- Cyber security prevention & breach response
- Predictive compliance
- Employee retention
Not only can data and information revitalization those areas of a law firm, but a huge topic Bennett discussed was letting lawyers be lawyers. Lawyers do the same thing over and over again, which is prime for automation process. With a few steps we can truly revolutionize how we practice law:
- Identify fundamental tasks
- Push work to the right level
- Automate or optimize repetitive tasks
- Face development expertise
- Capture the efficiency gains through value based billing
The first set of push-back you will probably get is "Why would I give away my billable time by becoming more efficient?" At Drinker Biddle & Reath analytics doesn’t reward efficient. They began billing for value (per task) vs per hour. Clients are more data driven, so law firms need to be data driven to show your firm is different and a step above the rest.
Bennett was able to sum up the entire keynote with just one phrase:
"Don’t be a dinosaur be an information age superhero."
In addition to the Keynote Address and many other great speakers, presentations, and panel discussions, our client, Ben Zastrow, the Director of Finance and Operations, at Zelle provided a fantastic informational session sharing with attendees. His case study was titled: Modernizing Your Data which walked us through when your firm experiences specific challenges or pain points, understanding that business intelligence or big data can help solve it is just part of the answer. Identifying, selecting and implement a solution to fit your specific needs is a rigorous process and doing it correctly will likely yield dividends beyond your original concern. This case study looked at a specific pain point facing a firm and how they identified and selected the right solution to fit their needs. If you want to take a look for yourself, check out his presentation slides here: slide deck link.
Before we close out this post, we want to extend our gratitude to Ben for sharing his expertise and experience selecting and implementing a business intelligence solution, BigSquare with the conference attendees. His session and the entire conference was a great success! We love to be a part of events that share such relevant and important legal industry information. Be on the lookout on BigSquare’s Blog Spot for a post sharing an in depth summary about Ben's presentation.
BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations. We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics.