The success of contemporary legal practices is largely shaped by data-driven analytics. Though a data-driven legal practice is not guaranteed to succeed, it will certainly enjoy a meaningful competitive advantage. Firms that carefully select the right practice management software, prioritize analytics reporting and use data to boost their legal team productivity stand a much better chance of operating with the utmost efficiency.
Gather, Organize, and Clean Data
Part of the challenge of putting voluminous data to work is identifying information that is most important to your law firm, collecting it, organizing it, and cleaning it for use. The structuring of your data is especially important. If your collected data is stored within clunky spreadsheets, it won’t provide the utility you are looking for. Organize your data in a manner that can be shared and analyzed with ease and the stage will be set for it to provide meaningful utility.
Though data hygiene might seem like an unnecessary project, cleaning up the data you collect is quite important. Keep in mind, some of the systems that facilitate the management of data were not designed for data extraction and analysis. Invest the time necessary to perform data hygiene and it really will provide that much more insight and utility in the months and years ahead.
Using Data the Right Way
The best way to approach the absolute avalanche of data available to attorneys and paralegals is to parse through it strategically. What matters most is that you uncover the data necessary to make decisions based on information as opposed to gut instinct or guesswork.
Sift through the data to focus on that which is most important in the context of making prudent legal decisions and you will feel that much more confident that your decisions are the right ones. In fact, technology now does a portion of the work for you as data-based predictions are included in some legal software that facilitates litigation planning, document review, client intake, and more.
In particular, it is in your interest to use data to make legal decisions about the pricing of your services, document review, and litigation planning. Data analysis from prior billings facilitates estimating the cost of subsequent legal matters. eDiscovery tools have advanced to the point that they provide predictive coding that determines a document’s relevance to legal issues.
Data stemming from court dockets makes it that much easier to predict the potential success of a motion or even the likelihood of a judge ruling in a certain way on a particular case. Focus on the data analytics rather than anecdotal experiences that stick out from the rest and you’ll be able to make data-based decisions in full confidence.