Big data now offers tremendous potential for law firms to improve their entire business model, exceed client expectations and increase profitability.
One area where big data plays a critical role is case/project management and preparation.
Thousands of cases are filed annually in the U.
alone – and the numbers are rising.
Each matter requires tracking information on jurisdiction, rulings, precedents, interpretations of legislation, witness statements, court logs, judge summaries, and more.
In addition to improving the experience throughout the customer lifecycle, big data is helping law firms achieve efficiencies in time management and billing, including developing a deep understanding of the most profitable matter types and attorney teams for various matters in order to predict the most profitable client teams and pricing models.
Big data is also being used strategically by savvy firms for business development and marketing efforts.
The better solutions inform more targeted and effective marketing and customer relations strategies; driving ROI while enabling overtaxed business development teams to focus on the most lucrative opportunities.
Some advice for getting started on the road to a big data solution that will win over even the most skeptical of partners: Data reigns king.
Outside of legal, most other industries have embraced the powerful insights driven by data and operationalized those findings, resulting in major gains to efficiency and profit.
The time in now for legal.
Start small and build momentum.
Be the agent of change, starting with a small guerilla team; the members don’t even need to be “full-time equivalent” colleagues (FTE) as there are more non-legal resources with analytics experience available.
Focus on a practice or industry with a group that is more data-inclined.
This could be a team using phase and task codes as a part of client compliance, or perhaps the nature of the work requires additional coding.
Don’t put off productive uses of data.
There are valid excuses around data ownership, problems, and politics, but they are not insurmountable.
Additionally, you don’t need a data scientist to put the data to work.
By starting small with a savvy team, you can get to something consumable (albeit static).
Other industries have, by and large, figured big data out.
Retail, manufacturing and financial services are just a few of them.
Legal will figure it out, too.
That day is coming, but not fast enough for most firms and their clients.
In the current market, empowered clients expect more from their law firms and are willing to leave when their needs aren’t met.
It is ultimately the clients who will drive this change, along with firms which embrace modern technology.
Invest in it and plan for the long term.
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