By James Michael Boyer and Daniel Pope, Ballard Spahr, LLP
James Michael Boyer and Daniel Pope will present “Emergence of the Citizen Data Scientist” at P3® – The Virtual Experience on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. With the release of user-friendly and intuitive business intelligence tools, the role of data scientist is no longer limited to the IT department, giving marketing, pricing and project management professionals greater capability to control their data. We caught up with James and Daniel to preview their session and better understand the role of a citizen data scientist.
Tell us about your session. Why is understanding the role of a citizen data scientist and data analytics is a must-know for all legal marketers?
For the vast majority of clients, the quality of legal work is table stakes. Clients know they are getting good lawyers; what they do not have is a window into what they are paying for and how it fits into their legal strategy. Law firms have been amassing enormous amounts of data that go underutilized. They either: do not understand it, call it bad data or don’t have the time to work with IT to get timely and meaningful access to that data.
With the tools we have today, along with the seasoned experience of our pricing and legal project management (LPM) disciplines, those that work with the granular data day-to-day should be the ones mastering it.
What do you find most exciting or interesting about the content you’ll present at P3 — The Virtual Experience?
I’m most excited to demonstrate not only the analysis that our P3 audience can be doing, but just how powerful that data is when presented in a visual and interactive way. By the time P3 rolls around, we will be approaching a year as self-appointed citizen data scientists. Our team has seen the expansion of our role by taking control of our data. While we have been a front-office/client-facing group, our interaction with clients and value to the firm skyrockets every day.
What “a-ha” moments will attendees walk away with?
One clear “a-ha” moment is everyone in the room can be their own data scientist. The technology has never been more assessable. It is possible to have the data you need at a moment’s notice.
Another “a-ha” moment we hope to get across is just how much value this data provides to our clients — this comes in the form of simple dashboards that calendar events or plot their matters on a map. It gives them 24/7 access to the data they need, making their roles so much easier.
How do you expect the use of citizen data scientists and data analytics to continue to evolve in the future?
The dashboards and reports being built today should look nothing like they will a year from now. As we start to report on the data we have and influence what we collect going forward, we will be on the front lines of driving legal strategy. It will also give our IT resources more time to devote to larger projects and get them out of the weeds of data reporting. The data will get better, easier to report and more valuable across the firms and our clients.
What changes are you excited to see in this evolution?
We’re looking forward to the evolution of the way we consume our legal data. Not only will we improve the look and feel, but also the content. As we learn to work with our data and encourage its increased collection, the analytics will become richer and invaluable to our clients.
P3® – The Virtual Experience takes place June 9-12, 2020. Learn more and register here.
James Michael Boyer is the Director of Matter Management and Efficiency at Ballard Spahr, LLP. He focuses on understanding the business needs of firm clients and creating practical and innovative pricing and legal project management strategies designed to meet those needs. The objective is to provide firm clients with industry leading service centered on client value, cost-effectiveness, predictability and efficiency. Boyer also oversees on the integration of the pricing and matter management process into the business intake workflow at Ballard Spahr.
Daniel Pope is the Director of Strategic Pricing and Profitability at Ballard Spahr, LLP. He oversees a team of pricing professionals that focuses on using state-of-the art tools and technology to gather and analyze information and evaluate the variables that drive cost. Pope also leads an ongoing initiative to review the firm’s top clients to ensure firm profitability benchmarks are met. The program focuses on current arrangements, staffing and overall economic health of the engagements.