Data Science and the Art of Storytelling: Leveraging Small Data and Thick Data to Measure Value
Track: Client Value
The phrase “Big Data” is everywhere, but the hype train often leaves legal teams stranded. While more and more clients are looking for meaningful insight into performance drivers and actionable analysis to inform operational and strategic decisions, many law firms are still struggling to deliver basic metrics that are accurate and timely. What’s causing this disconnect? We think it’s a lack of respect for the power of small data -- and the often-overlooked importance of thick data. Most legal teams have big data problems, but they’re usually not Big Data problems. The data-driven insights clients want are usually locked in the squishy, unwieldy mass of unstructured data around undefined workflows. Legal teams often find themselves going down one rabbit hole after another to find the “right data sets” or mired in the endless drudgery of data hygiene projects. Drawing from a cross-disciplinary toolbox across data science, design thinking, change management, and legal process improvement, this panel will address critical skills and tools to define clients’ business objectives and articulate metrics that matter. We’ll point out common pitfalls, statistical biases and analytical errors that sabotage data-oriented projects. We’ll also discuss how data discipline often begins with an ethnographic approach and showcase the importance of blending quantitative rigor with qualitative context to make data more meaningful.