A Note on Data
By relying on data-driven insights rather than intuition or “gut feelings,” process improvement
enables businesses to provide a high-quality product or service, produced at peak efficiency,
with a high level of consistency and predictability.
Because data and statistical analysis are newer to legal practice, legal teams generally lack
maturity in their management and consumption of data relative to their peers in industrial
manufacturing, retail sales, management consulting, or other fields.
While legal matters provide significant potential for data analysis, most law departments
and law firms are not necessarily set up to effectively capture and manage this data. Often,
the integrity of the data collected is not necessarily very strong, because sample sizes are
simply not large enough from which to draw valid, statistically supported conclusions. That
said, process improvement underscores the critical need to begin and continue building data
competencies and infrastructure. Any serious process improvement effort should include mid-to long-term goals to move toward data-driven decision-making.
In the interim, legal teams should rely heavily on qualitative fact-finding methods and client-facing dialogue to help validate their findings, and put forth a concerted effort to inject
quantitative approaches wherever possible.