By Legal Futures Associate Minerva
Most businesses now deal with a lot of data, and law firms are no different. So just how do law firms keep a handle of the day-to-day engagement of each and every client they deal with? Of course, there are many excellent solutions out there that deliver a wealth of data. But just what does it all mean, and how does it help a business to grow?
Key Management Information encompasses a wide range of data, from simple metrics like the number of clients onboarded and last month’s revenue to more complex analytics that provide insights into business development, market trends, and other factors.
The ability to exploit this data can lead to improved performance at all levels of your firm. For example, with the right information you can:
- Improve decision-making with a wealth of data and insights that your firm can use to drive business growth, make operational improvements, and reduce the risk of uninformed outcomes.
- Improve visibility and communication by breaking down departmental silos and ensuring everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.
- Improve accuracy by combining insights from various resources and ensuring a single source of truth.
- Save time with access to the correct information quickly and easily, so what would have taken weeks or months of painstaking collation can be done in minutes.
- Understand what is working for your firm and what is not.
- Become more profitable with everything you need to improve forecasting and planning and boost conversion rates.
Most law firms understand the value of leveraging management information to improve their operations and performance. Still, they risk falling behind without access to relevant, real-time data in easy-to-read formats. So, how can you best use key management information to help your law firm grow?
Understand what key management data you need
Law firms have access to a wealth of data they can use for discovery and analysis. But too much data can be as big a problem as too little. Not least because this information comes in many different formats, is usually collated by different systems, and must be stored and handled securely. One of the first things firms should do is rationalise their data and determine what they need to track.
Of course, the required data can vary depending on a firm’s specific services, needs and goals. However, some of the most common types of management information used by law firms includes:
Client data such as demographics, types of cases handled, retention, the overall client journey and satisfaction rates
Understanding this information can help firms pinpoint who and where their typical clients are, what these clients want, how to improve client services (e.g., by providing automatic email reminders), how to track client trends, and who to target to onboard more valuable clients.
Financial data such as WIP, profitability, expenses, and cash flow
A sound understanding of a firm’s financial health is essential when making strategic decisions. For example, with an in-depth knowledge of their WIP, firms can assess whether their billing and collection processes need improvement and make informed decisions about resource allocation and budgeting.
Data about matters such as case status, time spent, outcomes and profitability
Data about the efficiency of matters, the chances of success, and the profitability of matter types can help firms identify the most lucrative practice areas. This information can also determine which departments are under or over-resourced. Firms can improve customer service levels and staff wellbeing by acting on this information and plugging any gaps.
Matter information can also help senior management teams make informed decisions about pricing strategies and which types of matters to pursue – both long and short term – to boost cashflow and overall profitability.
Data about staff performance, such as productivity, billable hours, and turnover
Metrics on staff can help firms evaluate the performance of their fee-earners, identify areas for improvement and training, and allocate resources effectively.
Compliance and risk management information
With strict legal and regulatory requirements, firms must be able to access data on risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies to ensure compliance.
Operational data such as IT performance, operational efficiency, and workflow management
Firms can use operational and technical data to identify those processes that are taking up valuable fee-earner time so that they can make investments that streamline tasks and enhance productivity. Such data is crucial when helping to establish what is working for fee-earners and clients, and what is not.
Market intelligence data, including trends, competitive analysis, and industry benchmarks
Looking beyond a firm into the wider marketplace, marketing intelligence can help law firms make more informed decisions about business development strategies, pricing, and positioning. This information can also be used to support and enhance a firm’s marketing function.
Understand how to use key management data
Law firms are waking up to the potential of big data. But it’s not just the information collected that’s important; what firms do with it matters. Indeed, the most successful law firms are those that turn data into insights and actionable improvements. To do this effectively, firms need key management information that is relevant, easy to access and understand.
Comprehensive, accessible information is vital, with at-a-glance data that empowers management teams to see what is happening. Clear summaries, graphics, and the ability to drill down into specific information are also essential. There’s no point collating pages and pages of data in a lengthy report that nobody reads or acts on.
If you use data from a month ago to make business decisions, you could already be behind the curve. But with real-time data, rather than making assumptions based on past events, you’ll get insights into what is happening in your law firm right now.
A lack of integration is one of the most significant issues law firms face when attempting to analyse their data. Valuable management information is often held in various formats and systems, so nothing is integrated or streamlined. A firm’s case management system (CMS) should be its core source of truth, so it’s vital that any other software the firm uses – such as client onboarding software – easily integrates into this.
The intelligence behind your business
Minerva is transforming the client onboarding process by using the data provided at this crucial stage of the client journey and turning it into an incredibly valuable decision-making tool. Through award-winning intelligent management information and reporting, we are helping decision-makers to access, understand, analyse and act.
Working with best-in-class suppliers and collaborators to integrate with your CMS, we have successfully completed integrations with SOS Connect, Proclaim, Partner for Windows (P4W), Visual Files, Mattersphere, ALB and Osprey.
Your clients are our focus, and we mean it. Through knowing what is happening cross practice, firms can be armed with the knowledge that helps them make important improvements around efficiency. One of many firms seeing the value in using the comprehensive data information provided by the solution is Bridgers Law. Their Practice Manager Jodi Crush is thrilled with the insight they have been ablet to have through Minerva.
“For the management team, things really have shifted in a brilliant direction. We are a young firm and to have the insights we can have through the Management Information dashboard is truly excellent. For me, I have been able to understand relationships with referrers of work. I have been surprised by how much information I am able to have that really assists with decisions for growth. For example, I was underestimating how much we were getting from one referrer and conversely how little we were getting from another. This really helps in our nurturing of external relationships, so not only are we able to achieve brilliant efficiencies with the clients, but we are also getting really valuable data about our work and business development.”
With access to the data your law firm needs to make informed business decisions, the results can be transformational. Find out more about how Minerva is delivering the intelligence law firms need.