While considering Business Intelligence solution as a meaningful and effective tool for litigation management, it is important to ensure that the data analytics is capable of producing complex BI reports.  Efficiency of litigation management has a direct correlation with the data analytics capability of the BI Solution.  Higher efficiency in litigation management can be achieved with more complex BI reports.

Enhancing Efficiency of Litigation Management

While considering Business Intelligence solution as a meaningful and effective tool for litigation management, it is important to ensure that the data analytics is capable of producing complex BI reports.  Efficiency of litigation management has a direct correlation with the data analytics capability of the BI Solution.  Higher efficiency in litigation management can be achieved with more complex BI reports.

 Business Intelligence Reports

Data Analytics in Business Intelligence can be broadly categorized into i) Basic ii) Analytic iii) Forecasting iv) Predictive and v) Prescriptive (arranged in the order of simple to the most complex).
At the Basic level, reports are generated from the historical and live data explaining “What happened” or “What is happening?” While the Analytic level it answers “Why did it happen?” Data Analytics in these reports are primarily mathematical in nature and have the effect of providing direct inputs to human minds – reflecting the exact results and triggering corrective and preventive actions.
The other levels – Forecasting, Predictive and Prescriptive are complex in nature because they are statistical, rule based, inter-related with multiple reports and subjected to various other external factors. Here the results produced are useful for planning and taking various preventive measures in litigation management.  Forecasting analysis explains “What might happen?”, Predictive analysis answers “What is likely to happen?”; and Prescriptive analysis suggest “What actions should be taken?”.   These Data Analytics have the effect of providing more specific and direct inputs that enable better business decision making.
The more the complexity in Data Analytics increases, the more the efficiency of litigation management, because complex Data Analytics are capable of reducing human efforts in analyzing BI Reports.

Basic Reports

Basic Reports typically provide a high-level overview of the current status of each process involved in litigation management. E.g., Matter Status (open, close, re-opened, assigned and unassigned), Invoice Status (reviewed, rejected, finalized, authorized for payment, pending payment and paid), Budget Status (pending, resubmitted, rejected and approved), Billing Guidelines Compliance Level (Billed Amount, Reduced Amount and Finalized Amount).  These Basic Reports shall also include the top items such as Top Law Firms (by Invoice Amount, Level of Billing Guidelines Compliance, Level of Billing Guidelines Non-compliance, Budget Compliance, Budget Non-compliance and Billing Guidelines Non-Compliances), Top Billing Non-Compliances (by Litigation Phase, Fee, Expenses, Jurisdiction, Practice Area, and Amount of Reduction etc.).
These reports are useful for day-to-day management of litigation. They provide the details of the current status and help prioritizing the tasks and to decide upon the next steps.

Analytic Reports

While the Basic Reports explain what happened, the Analytic Reports help identifying why it happened. These reports demonstrate the ability to filter a particular report into various levels and identify the areas of concern.  These filters include Date, Date Range, Geographical Location, Practice Area, Billing Guidelines Non-compliance,  Law Firm.  Analytic Reports help locating the exact areas of concern and take appropriate actions.
For example, if the Basic Reports reflects a considerable amount of reductions in invoices due to a particular type of Billing Guidelines Non-Compliance, then Analytic Reports may be used to identify if this issue is specific to a particular phase of litigation, practice area, geography or law firm; and accordingly take appropriate steps to prevent the occurrence of the issue.  If the issue identified is more specific to a particular geographical location, then a notification may be issued to these law firms instructing corrective and preventive measures.  Similarly, an alert message may also be issued to bill reviewers to pay close attention to invoices from that particular location.

Forecasting Reports

Forecasting provide input as to what might happen in the future.  E.g., i) What is the anticipated litigation spend for the next quarter? ii) How much reserve should be maintained for a period? iii) Number of anticipated new matters, etc.  Forecasting reports play a vital role in litigation management; especially, in financial and staff planning.  Although, forecasting is purely statistical, the results are likely to be affected by external factors.  E.g., forecasting of the number of new litigation for a given period might differ from the actual due to external factors like happening of natural calamities, recession, etc. which has the effect of increasing the number of litigation.

Predictive Reports

Predictive Reports provide input as to what is likely to happen.  These reports primarily answer behavioral questions such as i) What is the likelihood of winning or losing a case? ii) Should I settle this case or go for trial? iii) What should be the budget for a particular case? iv) Who is the most economic eDiscovery vendor for a case? v) Which is the best law firm for a particular kind of case? etc.  These reports are also generated from the historical data; however, they have very minimal impact from any external factors which makes these reports more reliable than Forecasting Reports.
Here human inputs are taken by the system, understands the query and predicts the answers based on its data analytics on the historical data along with the inputs given. For example, to predict the likelihood budget for a particular case, the system would require to input information such as nature of the dispute, amount involved, jurisdiction, name of the law firm etc., to analyze same against the historical data to give the prediction.

Prescriptive Reports

Prescriptive Reports provide input as to what actions should be taken for the future.  They are more advisory in nature. Here the Data Analytics are capable of comparing and analyzing various reports and provide the results in the form of advisory answers.  In other words, human efforts involved in Analytic BI Reports have been completed eliminated and the BI Solution is automatically able to perform the analysis and provide the results.
 These reports typically cover questions like i) Should I consider amending the Billing Guidelines? ii) Should I increase my reserves? If so, how much? iii) Should I increase the number of staffs to manage the litigations? If so, how many? etc. These Prescriptive Reports require more complex data analytics, yet they are less likely to get affected by any external factors which make them more valuable reports in effective litigation management.
Unlike the predictive analysis, here the data analytics are automatically triggered upon happening of certain predefined events. For example, based on certain predefined parameters for efficiency of staffs against the number of cases, the system would automatically run data analytics to determine the number of cases pending, the number of cases anticipated and the number of staffs to analyze and prescribe the number of staffs required to efficiently manage litigations.

Conclusion

Users’ ability to logically move from one report to another, identifying areas of concerns and analyzing the issue in light of the external factors is the key for efficient use of Business Intelligence Reports and decision making.  Unfortunately, often Business Intelligence Tools are criticized as inefficient, while the user’s inability to logically use the report being the culprit. Right tool in the right hands is the key for efficient litigation management.
Note: The reports listed under each of the Business Intelligence Report categories are indicative and meant only for the purpose of explanation. The actual reporting capability of a Business Intelligence Solution tool would differ according to the data availability.