Julius Exner, Blindebuk (C. 1852)  (public domain)

Once you master the new jargon, the relevance and importance of analytics to the practice of law should become clearer...

...and a little bit scary.

Analytics comprises skills, practices, and changes in professional culture that are relevant today and will be critical to law firm survival over the next ten years -- especially for small and midsize firms. 

The September 2018 edition of McKinsey Quarterly is devoted largely to the introduction and use of data analytics in business decisions. The companies that are discussed are not law firms; but the lessons that they have learned about the importance of developing and using the best possible data are directly relevant to law firms of all sizes -- even the smallest ones.

"Why data culture matters" by Alejandro Díaz, Kayvaun Rowshankish, and Tamim Saleh, discusses several points about analytics that translate very well to the operations of law firms and the decisions that their partners must make in increasingly fast-changing and uncertain business and professional environments. It might be challenging for some of us to cut through language and concepts that originate far outside the legal profession, but don't give up. All of this has direct implications and practical applications for law firms of any size. 

One of the most important of these implications is cultural. Analytics is not about buying more powerful computers or more sophisticated software. It requires significant changes -- seismic ones in many law firms -- in the professional culture and management practices of the firm. This can sometimes be even more  uncomfortable than mastering some of the new jargon.

Do you want to help your law firm make better decisions? Here are the two first steps: (1) read the McKinsey Quarterly article; then (2) contact us to discuss how our Strategic Focal Point Analysis can help you to "translate" these concepts and communicate them in unique characteristics and culture of your firm.

Here's a starting point: Law firms can no longer to plan their futures based on obsolete paradigms or semi-educated hunches.

Norman Clark