Dashboard Delivers Valuable Real-Time Reporting


One challenge law firm leaders have always faced when it comes to firm performance reporting is that reports are retrospective, and they've historically taken time to prepare. In the pre-digital age, by the time managing partners were able to review month-end reports on billings, new clients, and so forth, the next month was already well underway. This lag created inefficiencies because firm leadership could not react as quickly as it might have liked to areas and issues that needed improvement
Category:
Reporting & Performance

With the advent of law firm management software, particularly integrated software solutions like LawMaster's, reporting became significantly more timely. Firms could generate performance reports at the click of a mouse, and if the firm's practice management software was fully-integrated, the report could provide a contemporaneous overview of firm-wide operations. This represented a substantial improvement in firm efficiency.

Still, even the best reports could feel cumbersome to a harried managing partner with precious little uninterrupted time to absorb and digest the information. Recognising law firm managers' need for real-time, snapshot information about firm performance when they lacked the time to read a comprehensive report, LawMaster developed Dashboard, an analytical tool built on the Microsoft Power BI platform. In this article, we describe Dashboard's key benefits and discuss why it might be just the tool to fill a gap in your legal practice reporting.

Beautiful, Accessible, Customisable, Visual Information

Dashboard leverages the features of Power BI to create colourful, graphical, customisable windows that display information managing partners need to keep their fingers on the pulse of firm operations. Managers can absorb data quickly via bar charts, circle graphs, counters, and other features that update in real-time. Behind that visual data, Dashboard has interactive analysis and drill-down capabilities, making it possible for firm leadership to take a deeper dive on particular items that need immediate attention. And, Dashboard will display on any supported device, whether web browser, phone, tablet or Apple Watch, so that managers on the go can stay current.

Richer Comprehensive Reporting

Dashboard keeps law firm leadership attuned to developing issues and relevant metrics. As a result, when leaders do find the time to absorb a more detailed report, they can cut quickly to the analysis that matters, gaining more valuable and nuanced insight than was previously possible. For example, a managing partner's Dashboard might contain a chart tracking new matters opened-per-lawyer and show a steep drop in the performance of a typically steady team member. Having tracked that data over several weeks, the manager can dig into more comprehensive reports to determine the reasons behind the decline, and perhaps discover that it's because the lawyer has been occupied on a particularly time-consuming and profitable matter. These insights and more are common once a firm deploys Dashboard.

Smart Resource Allocation

Staying with the example above, a managing partner who observes a steep drop in new matter generation by one lawyer can use that real-time data to task another, less-busy lawyer to follow up with existing and potential clients about new matters. Or, in a situation where a firm needs to make a capital expenditure on a tight time frame (say, to replace essential, broken equipment), Dashboard allows firm management to see the firm's exact financial position and make an informed decision on the fly about whether to finance or pay cash for the purchase. Virtually any time a law firm can benefit from allocating its human, financial, or other resources quickly, Dashboard can help.

Enhanced Productivity, Because You're Watching

Without intending to sound sinister, if your employees know you are keeping an eye on their time, it can serve as a powerful incentive for them to work harder and more efficiently. With Dashboard, firm leadership can make it known that it has real-time reporting on who is billing, and who isn't. Deployed carefully (so as not to affect morale), Dashboard can give managers a useful tool to keep team members on-task.

At LawMaster, we are constantly thinking of ways to innovate and improve technology to enhance law firm management. To find out more about Dashboard and LawMaster's other state-of-the-art solutions, contact us today.

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