As the legal industry becomes more complex and competitive, in-house Legal teams are under increasing pressure to optimize their performance and deliver results. To achieve this, many Legal teams are turning to data analytics to gain insights into their operations, make informed decisions about how to improve their performance, and showcase the Legal team’s value within the business to improve Legal’s brand.
In this post, we'll explore how Legal teams can use data analytics to optimize their performance and run legal like a business.
The first step in using data analytics to optimize Legal team performance is to identify key performance metrics. These metrics will vary depending on the specific goals of your team, but may include metrics such as:
Time to resolution for legal matters
Time that each matter has spent with the legal team versus business and approver teams
Number of legal matters per attorney (with visibility into complexity)
Number of legal matters per matter type
Number of legal matters requested by each business team
Client satisfaction ratings
By identifying these metrics, you can establish a baseline for your team's performance, track trends and progress over time. For example, knowing the number of legal matters requested by each business team across a time period helps you identify which teams most heavily leverage legal resources and perhaps additional training and building out self-service resources will help drive efficiencies.
Once you have identified your key performance metrics, you'll need to collect and analyze data to gain insights into your team's performance. This data can come from a variety of sources, such as e-billing systems. client feedback surveys, and legal process management solutions like Streamline AI. Streamline has an out-of-the-box 360 reporting dashboard that presents actionable metrics tailored for the GC, a practice area lead, and individuals on the legal team. Legal teams generally find that tools like Streamline AI, which has been specifically configured to collect and analyze the data that legal teams care about the most, produces the most helpful reports for a legal team’s needs. You can also export the data from generic ticketing systems into Tableau or other specific Business Intelligence tools to run additional reports, which is ideally suited if you have dedicated legal operations resources on your team.
You might use data analytics to identify which types of legal matters take the longest to resolve or which attorneys have the highest completion rates. Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and improve performance.
In addition to analyzing historical data, Legal teams can use predictive analytics to forecast future performance and make informed decisions about resource allocation. For example, Streamline has a predictive algorithm that enables Legal teams to forecast how many new legal matters the team will receive in the coming year, or to estimate how much time and resources will be required to handle the increases in request volume, or perhaps which practice area to allocate the most headcount to.
By using predictive analytics, you can proactively plan for future challenges and optimize your team's performance.
Armed with insights from data analytics, Legal teams can implement process improvements to optimize their performance. For example, you might identify that certain types of legal matters take longer to resolve than others, and implement process improvements to streamline those matters. Or, you might identify that certain attorneys are more successful in tackling certain matters than others, and implement training programs to help other attorneys improve their skills.
By continuously monitoring and improving processes, Legal teams can deliver better results for their internal clients.
Finally, it's important to communicate the results of data analytics to stakeholders, such as clients, senior management, and other departments within your organization. By sharing insights and demonstrating the impact of process improvements, you can build trust and credibility with stakeholders and position your Legal team as a strategic partner to the organization.
In conclusion, using data analytics to optimize Legal team performance is a powerful tool for running legal like a business. By identifying key performance metrics, collecting and analyzing data, using predictive analytics, implementing process improvements, and communicating results to stakeholders, Legal teams can continuously improve their performance and deliver better results for their clients.