Ark Group's BI&A Forum Emphasizes Simplicity and Standardization


Ark Group’s BI&A Forum Emphasizes Simplicity and Standardization

As firms are raising the bar to seek a competitive edge, leveraging business intelligence and analytics is increasingly becoming a necessity. For those firms already using business intelligence, many are struggling with the decentralized sources in which data is acquired. Independent feeds of data is only one challenge when it comes to achieving quality BI. Simply using data as the foundation for informed decision making may not always guarantee the most accurate results. Data-driven business intelligence needs to begin and end with quality inputs and a clear, centralized process.

At the Ark Group’s 4th annual Business Intelligence & Analytics forum held in New York, NY – simplifying and standardizing for quality business intelligence rang loud and clear.


Understanding Capability: Developing Analytical Frameworks to Better Manage the Business of Law

“In order to expand the value of our investment in these tools we need to expand the datasets we analyze.”

Laying the Foundation: Standardize Processes to Achieve Quality Intelligence

“Process inconsistencies breed data inconsistencies. In order to achieve quality business intelligence, a clear and consistent process must be followed, which can be done by reducing variation through Lean Six Sigma.”

Partner Profitability: How One Firm Successfully Uses Partner Profitability Analysis in its Comparison Process

“If your strategy and your compensation system are not aligned, then your compensation system is your strategy.”

A Story of True Firm/Client Collaboration: the Power of Building Tailored Solutions

“Working closely together, outside counsel and inside counsel developed a tailored technology solution that looks across a portfolio of matters to identify trends and provide strategic analysis, rather than just solving each individual legal problem that arises.”

Finding Focus with Data Analytics: Understanding the Fundamentals and Working Toward Innovation

“Using data to build a strategy begins with narrowing options and finding focus.”

Ark Group Business Intelligence

I had the honor of co-presenting alongside, Matt Hunoval (Founder, Hunoval Law Firm), Kevin Divine (Chief Information Officer, Hunoval Law Firm) and Jonathan Talbot (Director IT Enterprise Systems, DLA Piper LLP); both firms have demonstrated a commitment to improving processes using Lean Six Sigma which has provided the solid foundation for their robust business intelligence platform.

We discussed using Lean Six Sigma to standardize processes in order to garner consistent, meaningful data. When inconsistent data is being collected on the front end, inaccurate data becomes your foundation for making decisions – not good. Leveraging the Lean Six Sigma framework can greatly reduce process variation in order to achieve quality BI.

An interesting discussion topic was the concept of hidden factories. When various legal teams within one firm are following their own unique process, hidden factories are born. Often times, definitions change, processes are inconsistent and even third party systems and tools differ creating a major misalignment in data streams. Making informed decisions for the firm as a whole becomes an impossible task.

Below is an example of how inconsistent NBI processes create inaccurate information:

Lean Six Sigma Business Intelligence

This graphic reflects three intake processes among three different legal teams at one firm. Depending upon the sequencing of steps, the date in which the new business is entered into the firm’s PMS varies. A difference of Step 4, Step 5 and Step 6 may seem inconsequential – that is until, your business intelligence relies on that ‘Referral Date’ data and after thousands of entries, you don’t have the necessary ‘intelligence’ to make a decision.

Business intelligence can always be improved upon. Whether you are simplifying, standardizing or both – both are critical to drive better firm performance and making informed business decisions. Building out a custom business intelligence platform and outlining a clear process to support it can be a large undertaking – however, it’s one that’s attainable, sustainable and provides invaluable business gains. This is something we can build for you – just ask.

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