BI puts organizational demands on your law firm
DIf you are going to use Business Intelligence, it will place certain demands on your law firm. This isn’t just about technology; it is also very much a matter of organization. Here, Jacob examines the factors you should focus on in the before and after scenarios – and gives you some do’s and don’ts.
Written by Jacob Sanchez Garcia, Consultant Business Intelligence, Abakion
BI puts demands on your organization
A Business Intelligence (BI) solution opens up many opportunities to make good use of data and acquire business insight that can help you make better decisions, optimize processes and generate innovation. However, how much benefit can be reaped from BI will depend on how the BI solution is implemented and used.
BI is more than just the technical implementation of the solution. It also places certain demands on your organization.
To realize the potential and get full value out of BI, the tool must be seen not just as a new technical gadget, but rather as a dynamic, business-driven project encompassing, beside some technology and data, your organization, employees and workflows – and one that in principle has no expiry date.
This entails adopting a structured approach and setting a clear strategy.
In broad terms, the process can be divided into what happens before and after the actual technical implementation of the BI solution. Below is a summary of the essential factors that may affect the benefit obtained from a BI solution.
Draw up a clear strategy and a roadmap for the BI project. You may want to try answering the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve with BI? What is the goal?
- How does it fit in with your overall business strategy?
- Who are the stakeholders, i.e. who is the project owner and who are the users?
- How can user adoption of the project out in the organization be ensured?
- What information and data is to be included in the BI, and why?
- Which metrics and KPIs are important to you?
- How will you measure whether your objectives and KPIs are being met? And how will that be followed up?
- What steps must you take to succeed with the BI implementation, and when?
Another good tip is to designate relevant (key) individuals who will be using the BI solution and involve them in the project from the start and throughout the process.
With a good strategy and a roadmap for the roll-out of the BI project, the foundation has been laid for reaping the future benefit of BI following technical implementation. Then comes the no less important part involving introduction, adoption and development.
Even the most complete and advanced BI solution will be worthless unless it is adopted and used in the organization.
Experience shows that user adoption is often one of the biggest challenges in BI projects – and unfortunately it is often a cause of the project failing or not living up to expectations. This part is therefore not to be underestimated.
User adoption can be ensured by means of introductory courses, workshops, evaluations, follow-up and further development. It may be advantageous in this process to return to the original objectives and the rationale for the BI project and to remind users, and yourself, of the problems that BI was intended to solve.
As mentioned by way of introduction, a BI project is a dynamic entity with no expiry date. In principle, it is an iterative process consisting of the well-known phases often described as: Learn – Iterate – Do.
In other words, BI is not simply something you buy, then press a button and it’s all fine. Look on BI as a long-term investment and a dynamic process that you continuously develop, adjust and refine so that it always keeps up with your business. It is therefore also important to recognize from the start that, down the road, you will encounter the need for changes to enable you to secure the best possible business benefit.
With that recognition and that approach, you can prevent development, and with it the BI project, from stagnating.
Do’s and don’ts
Although it is easy to get started with Business Intelligence, there are several things that will affect your success with BI and the return it brings. Below are a few general rules on how and how not to tackle a BI project.
- Do identify and define your reporting needs. What do you want to achieve?
- Do map out a process for implementation and roll-out in the company.
- Do include the end users and prepare them.
- Do designate a ‘report owner’. Who will be responsible for the content?
- Do use the tool.
- Don’t do as you usually do. Get rid of Excel spreadsheets living here and there on local PCs.
- Don’t jam-pack reports with figures and graphs. It will get messy and unmanageable, and the message will be lost. Less is more.
- Don’t put aside your rational, critical sense. Always ask questions of your data.
If you want to have a look at Abakion’s BI solution for law firms, you can see more on our website (in Danish). We have created a BI solution specifically designed for lawyers that works out of the box and can be taken into use straight away. Data structuring and report and visualization development are ready to go, and you can drill straight down into the figures and open up new insights into your business.
Our BI solution covers both financial and case reporting. In addition to a number of standard reports, you will have a complete data model at your disposal so that you can set up your own reports and analyses.