Mastering Data Transparency: A Roadmap for Legal Firm Reporting

A group of office workers having a meeting in a room

Reporting on the state of your firm can be one of the most painful processes you can undergo. Depending on the data you have and the technology you are using, it can take days or weeks to pull together the reporting that is important to your firm, if it is possible at all.

If you haven’t created any standard processes, it can be overwhelming to get started. Responding to one off reporting requests from partners in the moment can often be labor intensive and hard to scale if multiple partners are coming to you on a regular basis.

Setting up a good process for how you report on and understand the state of your firm can be critical for firm operators. Creating data transparency can put you in the driver’s seat to help your firm make unbiased decisions, uncover unknown problems, and focus you attention on the areas of the business that need the most care.

Key ways to get started with your reporting processes:

  1. Start now. Start with the data you have. The data you start with might not be perfect and might not be everything you want, but just starting to look at the data you have will help you learn about what is and isn’t important.
  2. Look at your data regularly. Review your data at a minimum of once a week (though in some cases even daily isn’t enough). You don’t need to have the most up to date data to review it, but if you are looking at it regularly you will learn more about the data and start asking next level questions.
  3. Focus on a few key areas. Don’t try to understand everything all at once. Use those key areas to set up a process to get that data in a repeatable way.
  4. What gets measured gets managed. Peter Drucker certainly had that right. Given that, make sure the data you are monitoring is important for your business. For example, if you are measuring the time it takes to get invoices delivered to your clients, you are going to focus on how to improve the invoice delivery process. If that isn’t the biggest challenge for your firm, you may want to use a different KPI that is more in line with your biggest challenges.
  5. Continue to evolve how you examine your data. When you first start, you will be in a learning phase. Once you understand one layer of data, you are going to want to dive more deeply into the data. Expect and embrace the evolution of your reporting process. 

Reporting shouldn’t be a burden or an after-thought. It should help you become more effective and efficient, and ultimately a trusted advisor within your firm.

To learn more about how LeanLaw can help you manage your reporting process, CONTACT US.