Designing data into professional services firms from the start


 

When embarking upon a new big data project, professional services firms can often get bogged down in the amount of existing governance regulations and processes already in place across the business.  “We can’t do this, because we use system XYZ”, or “This won’t work because we can’t expect our frontline staff to input data daily”.

There can often be so many blockers to a new data tool.

That’s why we interviewed leading UK law firm Wright Hassall’s IT Director, Martyn Wells, about his views on integrating data into an existing business and what could be done if data was designed into process from the start.

We have just launched our whitepaper titled “Building a data driven professional services firm” which is all about how to be data driven, not data wary.

By designing a new firm from the ground up, businesses could be fully data driven from day 1, harnessing data services to refine operations, drive marketing initiatives and monitor trends.

More importantly, it could

It could affect the time it takes to make a decision; by utilising big data tools to pull information from multiple sources in seconds.

Accuracy could be improved by always backing up decisions with data, rather than relying purely on intuition or anecdotal experience.

Systems and tools would be different as firms moved away from paper based methods and legacy systems through to newer analytics tools to conduct their decision making.

The information professionals consult to make their decisions may be different if firms were able to draw on many different sources at once.

The people usually approached for insights on a decision might be different.  For instance, if decisions to increase staff levels were usually based on a conversation between HR and Managing Partners but with new resourcing technology, firms could predict staffing requirements based on past data trends and compare it with the firm’s profitability projections, then the decision might then be based on a percentage of firm profitability rather than a consensus between Managing Partners.

Martyn Wells of Wright Hassall highlighted how the multi-generational workforce of many professional services firms can affect technology and big data adoption – due to the different training needs and culture (and how open each generation is to learning about new technology).

Wells also commented in the whitepaper on the balance that professional services firms maintain between legally trained staff (lawyers) and their business support staff (IT, HR, Finance etc).  Data analytics is a way for business support staff to provide better services to enable their lawyers to deliver the most efficient service possible, reducing time to collate and deliver data insights.

To find out more about being a data driven professional services firm, download the full whitepaper from C24 at our website to read Martyn Wells’ insights.

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