As reported last week by JD Supra, only 29 percent of large law firms routinely use data. The results are based on a survey shared at the Marketing Partner Forum. Troubling stat to say the least. If firms aren't committed to using data to make decisions, it's safe to say decisions are based on gut feelings and assumptions rather than facts.
The law firm operations or back office should be the first to embrace data to make decisions. That side of the law firm house is engaged in primary business and operations responsibilities. It should be no stretch to demand that operations increase their use of and comfort with using data in a similar way to corporate operations.
From the business development and marketing opportunities highlighted in the JD Supra article to purchasing new technology products to spending on new materials and innovation, there is significant benefit from using data, both small and big, to manage firm operations.
The great thing about using data is that it doesn't have to be a sweeping initiative or innovation-style program roll-out to encourage use of data to make decisions. All it takes is one manager, one director or COO to begin to ask questions related to a program or product's ROI or the business case for spending money. When the responsive party answers with subjective answers, the individual can and should push for data and objective information.
Changing habits to use data and information as part of the conversation regularly can and will change the culture within operations from assumption-based to data-based.