Just the Headlines

Short on time? Here are the key facts.

  • A strong law firm data strategy is essential to best serve clients and effectively manage a firm, but this global law firm lacked easy access to accurate data and analytics tools.
  • Aptitive led a data and analytics strategy and planning process to map out our client’s vision, design the data architecture, select the right tools, and plan a long-term roadmap.
  • The result was a comprehensive strategy that outlined not only the tools and technology needed but also the required organizational change initiatives to deliver the near-term value while building to their long-term vision.



The Challenge

“We should spend more time looking at data, but because it’s such a pain, it goes to the bottom of the list.” – Client Quote

How profitable is this matter or this service area? How are we doing on utilization for associates in our Southwest region? Is this practice more or less successful than other practices?

These kinds of questions are asked every day in every firm, but the answers can depend on which data is used in the analysis and what metrics and measures define success. For our global law firm client, there was little consensus and way too much time debating contradictions in the data and interpreting and misinterpreting the answers.

Their leadership wanted executives and lawyers to make proactive decisions firm-wide, but these users needed accurate data first and foremost. Our analysis showed that more than 80% of the users’ time was spent finding the data and creating the reports, with only 20% of the time spent on analyzing and taking action.

The Solution

With the goal of a “single source of the truth” in mind, our client’s CFO reached out to Aptitive in the hopes of planning a centralized law firm data and reporting platform. He chose Aptitive because of our experience building out data strategies that balanced the needs of business users with a strong technical foundation. Our collaborative, strategy-first approach made our team the ideal partner to make this project a success.

Over the course of several months, our team worked closely with the client’s stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of their goals, needs, pain points, and overall vision. Aptitive conducted a series of discovery interviews with executives, functional managers, and partners. In these conversations, we explored the inefficiencies in data access and analysis and the potential value to the firm from a common view and shared understanding of problems and opportunities.

Then, we reviewed their existing infrastructure of databases, systems, and applications. We found numerous custom applications and siloed reporting efforts with their own distinct data sources. This separation kept our client from producing accurate, cohesive answers to questions asked by their practice group leaders and senior management team.

Law firm data and analytics strategy - current to future state

The Outcome

The end result for our client was a clear data and technical architecture that will support leading-edge analytical tools using consistent and accurate firm-wide data. A roadmap helped define the budget and schedule necessary to achieve their vision and the organizational change recommendations define the people/process changes they need to make.

By focusing on data strategy upfront, the client can implement their law firm data and reporting platform in a cost-effective, efficient way that will set them up for a competitive advantage using analytics insights.

Reed Smith

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