The days of law firm leaders having to use their best educated guesses to make important strategic business decisions are long gone, with business intelligence tools capable of analysing data from finance, time entry, HR systems, social media and web analytics.
What happens in practice in the legal sector, however, is not nearly that clear cut. BI tools, much like any technology, are not a silver bullet, and can only be effective if they are fed good data and set within a culture that pays real attention, not lip service, to the output.
While the end result that law firms are trying to achieve with BI is largely the same – greater profitability – the means to get there are varied. There are big questions around the behaviours that law firms should be driving with BI, and the behaviours they should be eliminating.
BI can be a useful tool in achieving more prompt time entry and billing, but without care and with too much focus on individual performance, it can also drive negative behaviour, such as hoarding clients and unhealthy interfirm competition that one managing partner refers to in this report as “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
And as clients continue to demand a shift towards value-based billing, BI data is capable of helping with that transition, but only if it is part of a clear management strategy.
In this report, published in partnership with Litera, we speak to industry leaders and consultants who advise day in, day out on management strategy, including how to use BI successfully, and the pitfalls to avoid.
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