Do you REALLY know what Business Intelligence is?
I am still amazed at the amount of law firms that do not know what business intelligence is. When I query lawyers, or prospective firms, on their thoughts about Business Intelligence (BI), I often receive responses such as:
- It’s a tool for the finance team to produce reports without the assistance of IT
- It’s a ‘pretty’ visualisation on a dashboard
- It’s not meant for lawyers
- It’s an expensive product for my finance team to report on firm financials
To me, this just proves that most law firms still do not appreciate the value that BI brings… and ultimately this can cause them to make poor decisions when it comes to their strategy for technology and growth. BI is for everyone; it is reports, visualisations, self-service tools, methodologies, technologies, applications, processes and strategies that help transform transactional data into meaningful analyses that assist with business management.
Most law firms today operate as a group of individuals who manage their own book of business – in essence their own little company. Although this is not different to before, the market has changed in the last five years. Law firms are receiving greater pressure to deliver value at a low cost, and no longer can they increase revenue and profit margins through raising rates.
On top of this, clients are asking for greater visibility into actual work performed so they can understand and question timelines that were inefficient, ineffective, or not what they agreed. No longer are clients willing to pay high fees for sub-par work – just like any other industry, the client expects to get value for money.
So what does this mean for today’s law firms? It is now even more important for the individuals to have access to BI. If a law firm expects to be profitable, they must provide their lawyers with the necessary information they need to run their book of business. This means they need to understand or have the following:
- Access to information to analyse how they are performing against target
- Reports to show at what stage they are in the project
- Reports detailing individual revenue, expected profit, and actual profit, and current lock up
- Easy, intuitive access to record, invoice, and collect time
- Ability to work on the go – mobility and tablet access
- Alignment of work requested, skill required, and people available – resource allocation
On top of reporting such as the ones listed above, the information must be up to date, organised, easy to absorb, and must be presented in a way that is tailored to the individual’s role within the firm. Whether they are a first year lawyer or the COO of the company; each one of them needs intelligence to help drive the business.
So is there a system that can do this? Yes, LexisOne. A business management solution developed by LexisNexis and powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX. LexisNexis has built a system that integrates all business management applications and tools for legal (from typical time and financial management systems, to budgeting, HR, travel and expense management, and workflow) – with BI tailored for each type of user allowing them to easily manage and run their business. Check out how LexisOne puts you in complete control of your business