Data – and specifically how well you can leverage data, apply analytics and implement new technologies – is increasingly becoming a key competitive advantage for law firms, legal recruiters, corporations and legal service providers.
So how do you create a robust and strategic data strategy? And what if you already have a lot of data at your fingertips but you don’t know what to do with it?
A good data strategy is about what your business wants to achieve, and how data can help you get there. To be truly effective, data must address a specific business need, help your organization reach its strategic goals and generate real value.
Here are some ideas to create a more strategic approach to leveraging your competitive intelligence to aid in your business development efforts.
Perform an audit of your current CI landscape – What databases and systems do you already have? And of those, which ones do you actually use? Are you leveraging them to their full capabilities? Now is the time to take stock of everything your organization is already paying for and ensure that you actually need it, use it, know how to leverage all that it can do and know where you have blind spots and needs that aren’t being met
Once you have the answers to the questions above, schedule time with each of your data vendors to get a refresher course on the latest updates on each platform and to find out how your team can better utilize the tools. Come prepared with questions, pain points and even a wish list for the platform. Chances are that you and your team will learn something new as a result.
Do an internal audit to maximize existing resources. Share information with other internal departments on what tools each of them already has with the goal of assembling a master list and leveraging existing tools. We can’t tell you how many times we hear that a marketing department is interested in a demo of our tools when the same firm’s recruiting department has had a subscription to our products for several years. It’s in the firm’s benefit to share resources among the organization.
Create a clear data strategy. Now that you know the kind of data you have and what data you need, you can outline specific goals for using the data that align with your business needs and upcoming projects.
This is important considering the sheer volume of data available today. We see many clients go into “data paralysis” mode where they have collected so much data to analyze that they are almost frozen by it because tackling it seems insurmountable.
Legal data can of course be used in many ways, including:
- Legal recruiting (associate and lateral hiring)
- M&A targeting (finding firms that would be a good fit)
- Business expansion (new markets, new practices, new cities, etc.)
- Competitive intelligence
Outline your organization’s most important needs and then find ways to use data to support those initiatives. For example: