Is Business Intelligence relevant to lawyers? Read the expert’s answer

70% of all lawyers say that Business Intelligence improves their business. But how can lawyers actually use Business Intelligence to optimize their operations and raise profitability? We take a look in this article.

Written by: Jacob Sanchez Garcia, Consultant Business Intelligence, Abakion

‘Data-driven company’ and ‘Business Intelligence’ have yet to be named as words of the year. Nevertheless, their popularity has risen steeply in recent years in step with the growing volume of data and the heightened focus on its use.

Let’s take a wild guess and say your law firm has invested in a financial and/or case management system.

In so doing, you have taken the first significant step toward being able to translate posted entries and registrations into business knowledge that can provide a firmer basis for decision making and improve operations – the first step on the way to becoming a data-driven company.

Why should we use it?

That Business Intelligence, the data-driven company etc. are more than just trendy buzzwords is supported by several studies highlighting the potential of utilizing data.

As an example, the OECD has estimated that data-driven innovation and business development can lead to productivity improvements of 5-10% (1). That applies across sectors, thus including law firms.

The search is already on in law firms for ways to realize that potential, through the use of Business Intelligence among other things.

Many cite BI as the reason for their progress

In a 2018 survey of lawyers which asked – among other things – which technological solutions had an impact on the business, 70% cited Business Intelligence – as against 49% in 2017.

Similarly, nearly 47% cite Business Intelligence and data analytics as the tools that will contribute most to strengthening the business going forward. For comparison, 16% cite artificial intelligence and machine learning as the most important tools (2).

In other words, Business Intelligence is high on the agenda in law firms, and for good reason.

What value will your data add?

Your data has value, and utilizing it will lay the ground for:

  • Enhanced business insight
  • Innovation
  • Better decision making

This opens up the possibility of reaping several benefits. Seen in isolation, the use of data can contribute to optimizing operations, resource use and profitability, providing better advice and strengthening client relationships in your firm. In a broader perspective, it will help improve competitivity. Which all adds up to a measurable effect on the bottom line.

So, the short answer to the original question is: Yes, Business Intelligence (BI) is definitely relevant to the legal industry.

Is Business Intelligence for everyone?

This does not mean, though, that you should rush out and grab the first and best BI tool off the shelf, set it up and then just sit back and wait for the big revelation to hit the company.

Before you get to that, you should consider what you want to achieve with BI. A BI solution is both a financial and an organizational investment, and the best return will be achieved if a clear BI strategy and plan are devised beforehand.

In the next blogs, we will look more closely at how you get started and what BI in a law firm is.

In the meantime, if you want to have a look at Abakion’s BI solution for law firms, you can see more on our website. 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 for law firms includes 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.

1) Source: “Data-Driven Innovation, Big Data for Growth and Well-Being”, OECD 2015.
2) Source: “The 2018 Aderant Business of Law and Legal Technology Survey”. Aderant are an leading supplier of digital solutions for the legal profession.