Business Intelligence and Analytics for Law Firms: Insights for a shifting business ecosystem

An in-depth exploration of what exactly is the “right” data for your firm? And the tools and methodologies necessary to measure it effectively.

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  • Publication date: August, 2018
  • Pages: 100


We live in an information age. At any given moment in both our personal and professional lives, we are consistently bombarded with data in various forms; through our interactions with the different technologies available in both our homes and workplaces, we are also constantly generating data that will inevitably, in turn, be harvested and displayed to another. Information has arguably become the most valuable resource of every sort of all businesses, as technology grows in sophistication and utilization, the world becomes ever more globalized, and economies continue the shift from being material-based to operating on the acquiring and exchanging of knowledge. With the right data – and the appropriate tools for gathering and processing it –, the key to success for any organization seems to be within easy reach. When correctly utilized, data analytics can contribute to the construction of meaningful information patterns, identifying opportunities to boost profitability and improve product quality and service delivery. However, the essential problem lies in the sheer quantity of available data information. With such a tsunami of information, it can be difficult to know where to start. What exactly is the “right” data? Which tools and methodologies can we use to measure it effectively?

For the majority of law firms, these are difficult questions to answer. Cultural norms in the profession and the traditionally risk-averse, and occasionally technophobic, nature of many lawyers are both obstacles to the alteration of working practices to encompass data analysis. However, despite the fact that global economies are in recovery and the demand for legal services is once again picking up, the marketplace remains incredibly tough, and the harvesting and processing of data has become essential for those firms wishing to retain a competitive edge. It is therefore critical for the legal profession as a whole to initiate a cultural change and acquire new skills in order to survive in a dynamic landscape being transformed by technological disruption and economic pressure. Business Intelligence and Analytics for Law Firms: Insights for a shifting business ecosystem is the ideal tool to begin the implementation of this development, featuring advice and observations from pioneers in this relatively uncharted territory. Expert guidance is also complemented by examples of best practice – something which is typically difficult to gain access to, considering the frequently sensitive nature of business intelligence processes.

Both practicing lawyers and those who manage law firms and law departments, make decisions and judgments with incomplete information. Faced with such uncertainty, is there a way to improve decision-making? 


Chapter 1: Learning from clients to improve decision-making in the legal industry

By Gill Eapen, founder and CEO of Decision Options, and Aileen Leventon, Esq., principal at Edge International

Chapter 2: Achieving client-centricity through data and technology

By Jennifer Roberts, data scientist at Intapp

Chapter 3: Your law firm through the financial lens

By Ariela Tannenbaum, CEO of Advanced Financial Analytics and principal at Edge International

Chapter 4: Emotional data in the practice of law

By Ronda Muir, Esq., principal and founder of Law People Management LLC

Chapter 5: Lessons learned in data analytics...

By Melaina Fireman, senior manager of business intelligence and database services at Goodwin Procter LLP

Chapter 6: Four ways to use data and analytics for business development

By Michelle Murray, chief marketing officer at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Chapter 7: A legal data analytics journey

By Kesney Fontes, data analytics manager at WilmerHale

Chapter 8: Mind and heart – how to promote the necessity of business analytics in a resistant culture

By Paige Keith, chief financial officer at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP

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Gill Eapen
Founder and CEO of Decision Options
Aileen Leventon
Aileen Leventon is a business counselor to the legal industry and a practicing lawyer with over 30 years of experience. She consults with law departments, law firms and individual lawyers on strategies to manage and sustain sound financial performance and continuously improve the efficiency of legal work. In addition to advising, coaching, and training, Aileen has facilitated numerous after-action reviews of closed matters to promote buy-in of legal project management techniques. She has also been embedded in ongoing matters to provide analysis and coaching to bring distressed matters back on course.
Jennifer Roberts
Jennifer Roberts manages the strategic research function at Intapp, responsible for the analytics and research component that supports product development and thought leadership for new initiatives. Leveraging her skills to advocate, evangelize and build data-fueled products and insight, she examines theprofessional services industry to drive analytical intelligence that informs strategic decisions and solves organizational needs. Prior to joining Intapp, Jennifer received her MA from the University of Minnesota in advanced statistical methodology and performance measures. 
Ariela Tannenbaum
Ariela Tannenbaum is the CEO of Advanced Financial Analytics, a consultancy firm focusing on enhancing law firms’ profitability. She has over 25 years of top tier leadership experience working with global Fortune 500 companies, instilling the financial intelligence and discipline used by the most successful organizations in the world to drive performance at law firms. Prior to establishing Advanced Financial Analytics, Ms. Tannenbaum served as executive vice president of finance at one for the largest companies in the world and global head of finance of its $2 trillion investment management subsidiary for over 14 years. 
Ronda Muir
Ronda Muir, Esq., principal and founder of Law People Management, is one of the country’s leading authorities on lawyer personalities and solutions to both traditional and emerging people management challenges that are unique to the legal industry. Muir draws from years of practicing law in New York and Europe, both as outside counsel and in‐house counsel, coupled with advanced study in behavioral science. Nationally recognized for her identification of emerging industry trends,  she is a frequent speaker, an award‐winning author and publishes, a  recognized resource for the legal community. Muir’s best‐selling book Beyond Smart: Lawyering with  Emotional Intelligence, published by the American Bar Association, is the first comprehensive guide  to understanding, using and raising emotional intelligence in the context of the practice of law
Melaina Fireman
Senior manager of business intelligence and database services at Goodwin Procter LLP
Michelle Murray
Chief marketing officer at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Kesney Fontes
Data analytics manager at WilmerHale
Paige Keith
Paige Keith is a business executive with extensive experience leading financial and accounting operations of law firms, including planning, reporting, billing, tax compliance, and accounts payable. Before becoming a chief financial officer at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP, she spent 15 years in various management roles responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives. She has also overseen client relations and the delivery of legal services, emphasizing the design and integration of consumer-centric business models and technology. Paige studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she earned an MBA from the Cox School of Business and a BS in mechanical engineering with biomedical specialization.

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