Driving innovation with data analytics

June 08, 2021

An accepted and growing trend across many businesses today, particularly in banking, legal, and professional services firms, is that data analytics drives business value. The challenge is in implementation. How can businesses use data in the best way to achieve tangible business success?

Unlocking the value of data

Data can be immensely valuable to all types of organizations. It can describe everything about how a company functions and, if used correctly, can lead to important insights into how to improve, develop, and expand operations. Leading businesses are beginning to appreciate the vast impact that data can have on their organizations, while many others have been slow to recognize its value.

For a long time, the ‘big four’ consultancy firms and corporate and investment banks have demonstrated that data can be a huge business enabler. Now the legal sector is following suit. Used in the right way, data analytics can translate into significant improvements across operations – not just process efficiency, but to provide a stronger corporate culture and a competitive edge.

Harnessing data through technology platforms

Companies are learning that integrating technology platforms that offer workflow, data storage, and reporting dashboards helps build greater service capabilities and can improve their business in four key areas:

Resource utilization

As mentioned in a previous Future of Work blog, for roles that traditionally require in-office presence, such as secretarial or administrative roles, capturing and utilizing data will radically transform resource management. Proper data management can identify teams who are overworked and those that are underutilized. With this knowledge, companies can scale resources accordingly or even upskill existing staff, so they have greater ability to support other teams.

Firm culture

Firms will seek more ways to keep remote working staff engaged. Data can be used to collect feedback and engagement metrics, then measure and pinpoint successful initiatives, such as wellness sessions, virtual social events, online learning, and mentorship sessions, to keep employees engaged with each other and strengthen the connection to managers and colleagues in different locations. Building more focused initiatives for the workforce community will come to the fore as firms try to maintain a sense of connection and cohesion despite a lack of physical presence.

Performance and productivity

Regardless of where employees are working, it’s important for firms to understand how business processes and tasks are being measured, how long tasks take to be completed and whether the quality of work is up to standard.

Combined with the use of end-to-end workflow tools, data can be used to track and measure support activity, giving businesses greater oversight on job completion, speed and accuracy. It can subsequently be used as a leading indicator for performance issues among those being supported, identifying individuals who require further training or might be overworked. For example, if there are fee earners or requestors consistently submitting late night and weekend requests, then data can be used to monitor that activity so management can quickly provide support to that fee earner before he or she ends up suffering from burnout.

Firmwide decision making

Harnessing data in the right way drives more informed business decisions. With the right data, businesses can determine how much of their operations they are willing to redefine or restructure, which departments need additional recruiting or training, or which departments have excess capacity. Data can also help determine areas that could benefit from outsourcing– allowing them to focus more strategically on their core business. [READ: A case study of successful data implementation in a multinational investment bank]

Innovative use of data can only lead to business innovation

Our CEO Clare Hart says, “Leading firms use data to guide their business. Average companies use data to understand their business. Laggards don’t use data well.”

Using data effectively will have an impact on almost everything a firm does. Using detailed insights about the past to predict the future is a skill that can influence every decision a firm takes and, used correctly, can mark the difference between a firm that has a clear course of action and one that is floundering. Organizations that use their data effectively will be better placed than their peers to ensure business continuity during extreme events; evaluate the effect of strategy changes; and make better use of their staff. Careful and clever use of data unlocks a whole world of possibilities for companies to enhance their position in the marketplace.

To learn more about the role data analytics plays in the workplace of the future, download our latest report on the future of work.

How we help

  • Improve team productivity

    Boosting productivity using workflows and performance analytics

  • Access scalable resources

    Meeting evolving resource needs through flexible service models

  • Improve speed to market

    Meeting demand through optimized start-up, production and turnaround


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