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  • Rebecca Anderson

Blog: Today's Must-Have Intelligence Technology for Law Firms

(Written for Introhive)

“Work smarter not harder” has become the rallying cry for law firms struggling with flat demand for independent legal services. To thrive, firms are doing more with less and relying on intelligence -- and I’m not just talking about brilliant legal minds.

Read on to get the scoop on these new solutions, and how your firm can use its data and systems to boost productivity and grow.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) AI investment is growing among law firms. When asked where they expected AI would have the most over law firms, 71 percent of firms surveyed indicated electronic discovery, 41 percent pointed to document automation, and 34 percent answered contract analysis and automation.

The potential of AI-driven technology platforms is huge.

“[AI platforms] can do things via technology that reduces the time it takes to get clients an answer, significantly reduces client cost, and enables access to information 24/7,” noted Jill S. Weber, the chief marketing and business development officer for Stinson Leonard Street, and the past president of the Legal Marketing Association. “Clients will no longer have to wait for a lawyer to call them back.”

Internal process automation is another tour de force for AI. CRM automation tools like Introhive eliminate the need for partners and attorneys to manually enter CRM data, saving each user as much as 5.5 hours each week. That’s 5.5 hours more time for billable, client-facing work.

AI also delivers more accurate risk assessment, helpful research and e-discovery, and highlights document errors—all tasks that would otherwise bog down legal teams. AI can even help with marketing and bring more visitors to your website. For instance, AI algorithms can analyze the best time to post on social media and then schedule your post. Talk about maximizing a firm’s social selling potential.

But technology is only one piece of the puzzle. If you want AI to provide the most value, your firm has to have a foundation of good data, talent, and culture.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI) Business intelligence technology and reporting are taking the business world by storm and becoming a must-have for law firms. They make smart, strategic decision making easier, by bringing together widespread data and information analysts then use to create quantitative data dashboards and reports.

These business dashboards and reports can mash up information from data financial systems, matter management, CRM tools, data warehouses, billable time trackers, social media, web analytics and other internal sources.

While many law firms use BI, the effectiveness and sophistication of methods vary.

Possibly because about half of law firm users have no experience with reporting and visualization software.

But there are three key areas where BI dashboards definitely deliver strategic value:

Visualization of firm-wide intelligence An illustration of practitioner utilization and client retention rates

Individual-partner intelligence Current performance-to-target metrics for hours, billings, and collections

Client-specific intelligence All client-related data, including open invoices, relationship history and types of services

In fact, nearly 70 percent of litigation departments and 53 percent of law firm managing partners want BI dashboards to help them more efficiently manage their practice areas. The most desired metric? Document review—at a whopping 85 percent. Data collection, processing, production and identification followed close behind on the “wanted” list.

As law firms look to advance their BI efforts, it’s likely they’ll need to look externally for software that simplifies critical business-data aggregation and reporting. Meaningful data analyses can help firms discover their most profitable practice areas (and why they outperform), what days and times attorneys are most productive, and what marketing techniques have the greatest impact on new business efforts. COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE (CI) Law firms are flocking to competitive Intelligence software for insight into prospects, clients and competitors, as well as market growth intelligence. But even with increased investment, firms still struggle to realize the full potential of CI.

Indeed, 80 percent of law firms consider their CI departments more reactive than proactive, with 61 percent lamenting that the function is more focused on tactics than strategy. But the more focused a firm’s CI function, the better the results. Firms with a formal CI group outperform those without, for instance.

It makes sense. A designated CI professional works directly with current and potential clients, industry experts, legal technologists, alternative legal services providers, vendors and competitors. So if you have one on your team, you’re much more likely to yield actionable data and sound strategy for the firm.  

RELATIONSHIP INTELLIGENCE (RI) Bringing on a new client can cost 15 times more than holding on to one you already have. And a strong relationship is the beating hear of all growing accounts. In fact, if you boost your retention rate by just 5 percent, you could nearly double your firm’s profits.

But increasing retention—as well as legal business development in general—first requires a solid understanding of your firm’s client relationships. Are they growing or stagnant? How often do partners and attorneys engage? In the past, there was no easy to way to instantly answer these questions. Enter relationship intelligence (RI). RI is an innovative new technology law firms are using to nurture their existing relationships, as well as spot cross-sell and upsell potential, and even grow new business.

RI automation tools, like Introhive, automatically collect, analyze, score and map all of your firm’s relationships to arm you with easy-to-decipher relationship assessments. relationship scoring measures the engagement of attorney-client relationships and proactively alerts the firm to critical situations where client retention might be at risk to ensure corrective measures are taken quickly.

Tools like Introhive also enable firms to see “who knows who” and “who knows who best” across their entire network—from board members, the c-suite and partners, all the way down to junior level associates. (Request a demo from Introhive to see this in action).

Using Introhive, Gould & Ratner gained insights for new business development by mapping more than 100,000 relationships across their firm of only 100 employees.

GET SMART ABOUT YOUR FIRM’S DATA The industry’s leading firms are investing in intelligence software to boost business development and their competitive advantage. Thanks to software-as-a-service models, access to intelligence solutions is a cost-effective investment that quickly results in a tangible ROI for the firm.  

The truly innovative firms have already started building multifaceted solutions with on-demand access to business data, competitive intelligence, and client relationship insights. Where does your firm stand by comparison? If you’re ready to start exploring how the latest intelligence software can transform your law firm, request a demo of Introhive today.

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