Embarking on a Data Journey Like a Start-Up


In our recently launched whitepaper, we have been looking at how new professional services firms can integrate data analytics from the ground up, and how existing firms across the legal and accountancy sectors can look to start-up companies for a more entrepreneurial approach to big data.

Becoming data driven instead of data wary is a process, not a single project.  Many legal firms are now comfortable with the idea of using big data and analytics tools for management reporting and the preparation of financial data.  But the next step is moving along from Managing Information reporting, and building analytics activities into revenue growth and client facing activities.  For more information about moving on from MI reporting, read our other LinkedIn post on the subject.

We see the next step in moving away from MI reporting is Demand Generation: utilising internal and external data feeds to drive revenue through more targeted and measurable marketing activities.  We are in talks with legal firms who are now pulling feeds from Mailchimp, CRM systems and internal case management systems to drive marketing strategies; such as who to target, where most sales come from, profitability of certain customers and responses to recent mailshots/marketing initiatives.

This effort of going beyond MI is all about firms looking at how big data can be used to drive revenue and increase profitability.  Previously, it was good enough for data analytics to spot trends to reduce operational inefficiencies.  Reducing cost isn’t good enough on its own anymore, new technology purchases now have to show how they contribute to business growth.

Following on from better marketing by harnessing data, client retention can be improved by extending data reporting and information visibility capabilities out to clients.  Customers want to be kept up to date in real-time about their individual case developments; they don’t want to wait for a letter to find out information – they want it now.  Online portals that can be used to report back billing information, KPI performance data and key milestone achievements back to customers, without adding extra workload onto the lawyers.

The UK Law Firm Survey 2015 from PWC highlighted that the top 10 firms feel they are winning against their competition by deploying technology – and we think that big data must be one of the fundamental keys to success in growth against the competition.

In our whitepaper, titled “Building a data driven professional services firm” which is all about how to be data driven, not data wary, we talked to Martyn Wells, IT Director at leading UK law firm, Wright Hassall.

Martyn shared with us his thoughts on how data has become integral to many legal activities due to new regulations such as the “Jackson Reform” rules that stipulate that cost management budgets have to be submitted to courts for each case.  This process relies heavily on data to create accurate case costings in the required time.

Martyn also highlights in the whitepaper his views on how it is crucial to “convince with confidence” when taking staff on a data journey – the data has to be correct and everyone working from a single version of the truth to avoid errors occurring and staff becoming wary of using data tools with bad information.

Read the full whitepaper at our site.

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