Whenever I walk down the corridor to ask our software developer to build me a new feature in our practice management system, I always think of his work as some kind of magic. I might have the ideas, but I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes to bring those ideas to life. To me, it really is magic.

Another form of magic, is data, and as this week’s guest taught me, the things we can do with data really can be magical.

I’m joined in “the studio” by Robyna May, a Business Intelligence (BI) Specialist whose career of working in both law and technology has brought her here today to tell us about the wonderful world of data and how it can help lawyers do law differently. At the beginning of our conversation, I challenged Robyna to make data exciting and she definitely delivered.   

Power BI is a tool that draws into one coherent layer all the data that we, as law firms and businesses, produce every second of every day, allowing us to, ultimately, make better-informed, strategic business decisions. 

I’m the first to admit that I don’t know much about this stuff. I don’t meddle with it and, instead, prefer to let the magicians who know what they’re doing… do their thing. I didn’t know, for example, the sheer breadth of data that exists as a by-product of the work we already do in our firms, big or small. In the episode, Robyna gives plenty of examples of exactly where that data might come from and all the exciting things that we can do with it: 

“One thing that’s quite popular is the dashboard feature. An individual lawyer can see all of their personalised information about how they’re doing, their fees billed against their budget, what kind of marketing hours they’re doing, etc.”  

Being able to access all that information, in a very visual way, sounds amazing as I’m sure most of us remember the not-so-distant days of recording all my own marketing hours on a piece of paper. If that’s just mentioning the benefits of data for an individual lawyer, can you imagine what it can do for an entire law firm?  

Tools like Power BI are not just for the big firms but are often geared towards the smaller ones. Robyna leaves the episode on a high note: 

“A lot of people looking at doing law differently are very interested in the “process” side of things and in trying to smooth things out to make the experience as good as possible for the client and the lawyers working on the matter. Data can do those things.” 

About our guest 

Robyna currently works as a Power BI Consultant with Verlata Consulting. In this role she takes clients’ raw data, from many different sources, and develops it into clear visual representations that can be used to inform strategic decisions. Her roles before Verlata have been varied, but always within legal tech touching on data. She has worked as a project manager, IT manager, knowledge director, legal firm practice manager, technical consultant and software developer. With degrees in both IT and Law, she loves the intersection of how law firms work and how technology can support them. 

Verlata supports legal firms with their document management, practice management, process improvement, reporting and accounting. They are a multi-disciplinary firm with the majority of the team having prior experience working within legal firm management. Their focus is on cloud-based applications and helping firms of any size utilise modern legal tech. 

Robyna quotes 

  • “If you’re taking data that’s basically just a by-product of people working: A) It’s going to be accurate and, B) You’re not relying on people doing anything other than their work.” 

Find Robyna online 

Pre-order my new book – It’s Time To Do Law Differently

My new book It’s Time to Do Law Differently: How to Reshape Your Firm and Regain Your Life is now available for pre-order in Australia. You can get your signed copy here.

In It’s Time to Do Law Differently, I share my six-step blueprint for transforming your law firm. Learn how to move from a traditional practice to a productised ecosystem and as a bonus, you might just get that quality lifestyle that you’ve been craving.

If you’re listening from overseas, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. If you are super keen to get your hands on a copy, send me an email and we’ll work out your shipping, otherwise, come mid-November the book will be available on Amazon for you to order wherever you are around the world.

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