No two law firms approach business intelligence reporting and financial analyses precisely the same. Yet all law firms can benefit from faster, more informed decision-making. The legal technology vendor you choose will safeguard your ability to effectively manage cash flow, monitor profitability, analyze performance metrics, and determine pricing, compensation, and cost optimization strategies for your firm. When it comes to your software’s capabilities, you should never settle for “close enough.” And the only one saying, “We’ll figure out how to make it work,” should be your technology provider, not you or your legal staff.
Choosing the right legal business intelligence and financial analytics software is a critical decision, and you have several vendors to choose from. But if you look at the vendors closely, and you’ll find they vary significantly in the depth of the capabilities they offer and their ability to customize tools to meet your specific needs. The following questions will help you select the best legal technology provider for your law firm’s BI and financial analytics software to help to ensure your firm’s long-term financial stability.
1. Does the legal technology provider deliver the specific BI & financial analytics results that our firm needs?
After the recent global upheavals, it’s a good time to reassess your firm’s analytical and reporting needs. You may opt to create a problem statement for each need, then list the capabilities your software must deliver to address each statement. Questions to consider include:
What metrics do we regularly track?
- What metrics can we not yet track but would like to?
- How can we better focus on profitability, not just revenue?
- Are we using the right metrics to optimize our long-term and short-term strategies for achieving our financial objectives?
- Are we using the right metrics to accurately assess remote productivity?
- How can we assess effective attorney performance beyond just billable hour goals?
2. Will anything stand in the way of the successful implementation and full adoption of your ideal software?
Preparation is paramount, yet the discovery process remains an essential aspect of successful software implementations. Your legal technology provider should be involved throughout installation and provide lawyers and legal staff with training tools to ensure successful adoption. Look for a vendor who can offer:
- User-friendly dashboards and intuitive menu options that help even the least tech-savvy employees quickly excel.
- The ability to create custom charts and graphs to show data in context and speed comprehension.
- The ability to structure data and automate processes to eliminate burdensome manual tasks.
- Customizations for your specific analytical, reporting, and alerting needs.
With the advanced capabilities available today, nothing should stop you from crafting your ideal implementation. Your legal technology provider must be able to configure the exact solutions and customizations your accounting teams, leadership committees, and decision-makers need to track the most informative KPIs, perform deeper analyses, and generate decisive insights.
3. Will your results be credible, trustworthy, and accurate?
Getting objective, actionable insights about your firm’s financial health requires analyzing the most accurate and up-to-date data available. The legal technology vendor you choose must establish crucial connections that integrate your new software with your CRM, PMS, and HR platforms and other data sources. You should be able to set your data refresh at a timing interval that accomplishes your objectives for timely reporting. Preparation questions include:
- What systems hold the data sets we need for the most informative analyses?
- Are those systems already connected in ways that enable us to establish an end-to-end digital process for obtaining timely and accurate metrics and knowledge?
- OR do employees still manually enter, extract, or transfer information somewhere along the line?
- If so, can those manual tasks be automated or eliminated using software tools that integrate all our data and workflows?
Try drawing a figurative map of your systems, paying specific attention to islands of isolated information. Add green lines to show where your data points already connect and red X’s where manual tasks interrupt data flow. An agile technology partner can build and maintain the connections needed to consistently synchronize a 360-degree view of your firm’s financial health.
4. Does the legal technology provider have an impressive track record?
- How long has the provider been in business? Newer vendors may say they offer the most cutting-edge software available. But they can’t yet demonstrate the stability and stamina necessary for the long haul. Meanwhile, many well-known legal software providers were slow to pivot when transformative change demanded new and updated products. Your ideal provider can offer the perfect blend of time-tested staying power and proven adaptability.
- Can they provide references? Don’t be shy about calling references and asking questions—especially regarding whether the vendor could meet customization needs.
- Do they regularly update their products to keep your firm operating at the highest level? You must stay on top of your numbers no matter what, so your vendor must keep up with the latest advancements. You should rest easy knowing that your provider will offer you all the sophisticated BI and financial analytics capabilities your firm will ever need.
Iridium is the preferred business intelligence and financial analytics provider for over half of AMLAW 200 firms. More than 300 law firms ranging from 40 to 2,000+ timekeepers trust Iridium to ensure their highest-level strategic decisions and daily activities deliver the most profitable outcomes. Schedule your demo today!