Over the last 10 years, there has been a rise in Business Intelligence (BI) tools for the legal market, and along with them, many consultants blogging about which BI/reporting systems are top – citing the ability to retain profits, consolidate reporting, report information from multiple systems, identify under performing clients/lawyers, identify areas of growth, forecasting, actual vs budget and LPM….the list continues!
At the end of the day, these are just buzz words to attract prospects into purchasing a solution that is tailored to resolve a specific issue a law firm faces. For example, you may go to a warehousing specialist if you need to combine data from multiple vendors…or you might go to a financial software company for profitability reporting or budgeting. Don’t get me wrong, these will provide you with intelligence, but what you are really doing is fighting the symptoms, not curing the disease… so what do I mean by this? Instead of asking what BI system I should purchase, take a step back and understand what BI is and its importance within your firm.
When you ask yourself these questions, the answer is quite simple – a law firm (and any business for that matter) needs intelligence in order to operate and grow a business. Without information on what has happened, is happening, and what could happen, it is quite difficult for any business to operate efficiently and effectively. Seems simple, right? So why don’t law firms have BI? If every business needs intelligence, shouldn’t it be a core solution within legal?
Let’s get back to my earlier statement – buying a specific BI solution will just fight the symptoms, not cure the disease. Law firms should be investing in a business management platform that has BI integrated with all core aspects. Law firms need a system that joins all the moving pieces of a business and displays the aggregations at the right level for the end user analysing the data – a unified system that allows self-service reporting, analytics through cubes, and user-friendly tools for firm specific customisations. In addition they need dashboards built for management in order to quickly ascertain key problem areas and this system should include matter management, case management, GL/financial budgeting and reporting, expense management, procurement, and of course, human capital management.
Business management within law firms is evolving, and so must the systems. Instead of thinking about buying a BI system, take a step back and ask, “Do I need BI or should my system go beyond BI?” Once you answer this question, the choice is simple: LexisOne.