LMA Capital Chapter Program Review: Predictive Analytics Model

The LMA Capital Chapter recently presented "Predictive Analytics Model,” a case study on how DLA Piper and their partner, Axiom, used the firm’s big data to develop a predictive analytics model to identify and retain vulnerable clients.

The program kicked off with panelists asking about law firm marketers’ understanding of big data and offering a straight forward definition of predictive analytics:  “Insights about that past that change the future.”

The DLA project began inside their marketing department.  Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Taylor wanted to understand the value of the firm’s marketing spending.  As the team started pouring through the data, they realized they were onto something much larger:  they had the makings of an early warning system for vulnerable clients and a way to address the situation before it was too late.  With their partner Axiom, they built a predictive analytics model that identifies the behaviors that signal when a client may be vulnerable, as well as what can be done to keep at-risk clients from taking their business elsewhere. 

While developing their predictive analytics model, a few things became clear:

  • Every law firm has lots and lots of data. In order for data to be useful, it must be reasonably complete, reasonably consistent, and must be digital.    Data can come from internal sources (CRM systems, HRIS systems, Elite, etc.,) as well as external sources offering publicly available information about the client or industry.   When asked “what data do you want?”, the panelists all agreed that the only answer can be ALL OF IT!
  • Building the model is critical.   Knowing what the data means and narrowing down variables is critically important to building an analytics model that yields relevant answers.  Participation at every stage is also critical to developing the model that will tell you what you need to know. 
  • Data makes buy-in so much easier.  As with any initiative, getting the blessing of executive leadership is imperative.   Turns out, data goes a long way toward answering the concerns of lawyers and partners and helps them immediately see how they can turn around an at-risk client. 

The workshop wrapped up with the panelists telling the audience that every firm–small and large–can use the copious amounts of data they already have.  The starting point is asking – what do I want to know?  

 By Michelle McWhinney, Founder, Navigate Recruiting for the March/April 2016 issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.

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