The Value of Business Intelligence for Legal Departments

First Reviewed : March 16, 2023
Last Reviewed: March 16, 2023

How can legal departments navigate this challenge and use this rich data to better inform matter strategy and support decision-making? Through Business Intelligence.

JD Supra

Modern legal departments provide value to their organizations through their legal work, as well as by leveraging business intelligence. A JD Supra article states that legal departments can utilize business intelligence through the vast amount of rich data they create everyday. According to the article, legal departments can offer their organizations answers to business questions and demonstrate their value by “collecting and bringing to life people, financial and operational data.” 

Legal departments have an endless supply of data that can influence organizational business decisions, affect finances, and drive the legal function’s role in the company. For the most part, the legal field has been slow to adopt legal tech, and been wary of the same.

Legal Business Intelligence

Deloitte states that legal departments are cautious about data-driven legal approaches such as business intelligence software, because of “comparative complexity and subjectivity in executing legal processes”. However, it is important that legal departments utilize the power of business intelligence tools not just for their team, but for their organizations on the whole.

Business intelligence is the process of using legal technology tools to leverage data and analytics into actionable insights to create powerful business decisions. These tools and softwares boost efficiency, and streamline processes, as well as manage legal budget and spend. There are 3 main ways that business intelligence tools optimize legal department value and efficiency, with the first one being the ability to visualize legal data. 

1) Visualize Data

SimpleLegal says that business intelligence can offer applications such as “organizing data in a way that helps you determine which vendor to use for a new matter or predict what spend will be over the next quarter.” These metrics can be viewed on dashboards, so that teams can analyze data and carry out tasks or influence business decisions for improved operations and outputs. 

Business intelligence tools take the legal data that legal departments make, and create visual solutions that surpass spreadsheets. These visual representations are easier to view and offer clear and concise insights into legal spend, timesheet tracking, and more. 

2) Identify & Analyze Discrepancies

Dashboards don’t just identify discrepancies and anomalies in data, but also offer explanations behind them. Data visualization softwares and tools provide simple and transparent ways to view anomalies and the opportunity to investigate them further. 

Analytics and business teams can collaborate with legal departments to spot what’s going wrong in terms of budget, billable hours, or vendor management on dashboards. These teams can pull up further information to find out how to solve the issue by sharing the discrepancies with their organization.

3) Predict Legal Budgets

Legal spend management is a breeze with business intelligence tools. Legal departments don’t have to review individual matter types, vendors, or law firms because data visualization offers a single view of overall spend. Teams can forecast legal spend and budget for future processes and work. With several variables already in the system, teams can find the metrics they’re looking for across the board in a single click. 

Business intelligence is here to redefine the world of legal data analytics. With business intelligence tools, legal departments can demonstrate their value to their organizations through better business decisions.

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