If you follow any legal technology blogs, no doubt the concept of “big data” for law firms has popped up a few times. That’s because more and more often, tech pundits are excited about the potential for tapping data and using it to the benefit of lawyers and their clients. Too often though, their ideas seem to consist of a lot of wishful thinking rather than offering practical ideas that you can start implementing into your law practice today.
Fortunately, earlier this year at ABA Techshow in Chicago, a presentation by Ed Walters and Adam Nguyen, “Data is the New Oil: Lessons From Standard Oil, Smart Diapers, and Uber for Law Firms,” focused on this very topic. During this seminar, Ed and Adam shared examples of how lawyers can use data analytics in their law firms while Stephanie Crowley took visual notes of this session on behalf of MyCase.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips and links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
1. Provide better information to clients.
According to the presenters, the legal profession is on the cusp of the “Age of Data,” and lawyers can make choices based on cold, hard data, rather than mere hunches. One way to use data in your law practice is to inform, educate, and advise your clients. As the presenters explained, you can use data collected by your law firm to determine where the value lies in the services that you provide to your clients.
For example, as explained in this post, you can use predictive analytics to track and respond to your client’s behavior and provide real-time reporting to your clients using web-based client portals. In other words, you can make your firm’s data visible and accessible to your clients. As the author explains, doing so offers many benefits:
This ability to access data when they want also has the added benefit of reducing the time clients spend getting in touch with your firm and therefore increases customer satisfaction levels. For instance, having real-time billing information on a secure portal that the client can log into means they don’t have to call your firm up to check the billing position, reducing time on the client’s side and resources on your side. Or if a client is awaiting info on an important decision, their portal can be updated as soon as the info is available, rather than waiting for their associated legal representative to find the time to call them and update them.
You can learn more about the benefits of client portals here.
2. Improve document review processes.
The presenters also discussed how artificial intelligence is improving and how it can now be used to streamline the document review process. Machine learning can be used to speed up document review and create a more efficient, cost-effective process.
And those aren’t just pie-in-the-ski predictions. As explained in this article from Information Week, law firms are already using predictive analytics to save time and money during the discovery process. Here’s just one example:
Using eDiscovery and predictive coding, BakerHostetler was able to narrow the scope of reviewable documents in one case from 800,000 to 17,000. In addition, its attorneys are able to discover patterns and relationships among documents, or among people, that might otherwise go unnoticed in a traditional, manual review of documents.
3. Provide law firm marketing analytics.
Another way to use big data is for marketing purposes. Many businesses already do this, and as the presenters explained, it’s time for law firms to start doing so as well. By analyzing your firm’s data, you can improve your law firm’s marketing and get more bang for your buck. Data analytics can help you to spot trends and analyze markets, allowing you to create a more focused message for your target clients. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use marketing analytics for your firm, this blog post is a great place to get some ideas.
These are just a few ways to use big data in your law practice. But there are lots of other ways to capitalize on data analytics in your law firm. Check out this post from Law Technology Today for even more ideas and see how you can put big data to work for your firm!