Season 2 Episode 9
Welcome to Season 2 of the Law Firm Data Governance podcast, the data governance companion for law firm leaders who want to know more about implementing and improving data governance. Each week I’ll help you with your law firm’s data governance initiative by sharing something I’ve learned in my 20-plus years of working with information and data in law firms.
Over this season, I’ll explore law firm drivers for data governance and the benefits of data governance. So whether you’re making the business case to create your data governance capability or getting some support to get started with data governance, I hope this season helps set you up for success.
In this episode, I’ll talk about achieving better decision-ready data by formalising or creating a data governance capability in a law firm.
Law Firm Data Governance Podcast
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Welcome to Season 2 of the Law Firm Data Governance Podcast. I’m CJ Anderson, founder of Iron Carrot, and I’m thrilled to be back with another season of the Data Governance Companion for Law Firm leaders who want to know more about implementing and improving data governance.
Each week I’ll help you with your law firm’s data governance initiative by sharing something that I’ve learned in my 20-plus years of working with information and data in law firms. Over this season, I’ll explore a law firm’s drivers for and the benefits of data governance. So, whether you’re making the business case to create your data governance capability or you’re making the business case to get some help to get started with data governance, I hope that this season helps to set you up for success.
This is Season 2, Episode 9 of the law firm Data Governance Podcast. In this episode, I’ll talk about achieving better decision-ready data by formalising or creating a data governance capability in a law firm.
Modern law firms are following the same organisational change that many clients. The banks, insurance companies and big corporates have already embraced. This is a move to data-driven decision-making. According to some studies, more than 50% of people rely on their instinct, their gut feelings, when deciding what to believe or what to do. Even when they look at evidence that contradicts their gut.
Most firms now accept that while intuition can provide a hunch that points to a particular path of exploration, it is through the data that they can verify assumptions, understand what’s going on, and quantify opportunities and risks. The decisions this enables have a basis in fact, not feeling, and can lead to better business outcomes. PwC suggests that data-driven organisations are three times more likely to report significant decision-making improvements than those using less data. The challenge, of course, is that the data being used to inform decisions needs to be high-quality, trusted data, from agreed authoritative sources, and that’s where data governance can help.
Data governance helps ensure that your data is consistent, reliable, accurate and trusted, to enable data-driven decision-making. Traditionally, data governance has been focused on risk and compliance, but the focus of data governance has shifted over the last few years to include support for the process of data-driven decision-making. This is the process of using data to inform decision-making and validate a course of action before committing to it.
Data governance helps everyone in the firm have the context to trust data, access data, and to develop valuable insights from that data. Data Governance Centres of Excellence can also help improve data literacy more generally across the firm. This creates a culture that encourages critical thinking and curiosity, which allows people to explore real-time reporting and predictive insights from historical data more confidently. This is another crucial foundation for data-driven decision-making. It helps the firm pay attention to what data to collect, what to throw away, compliantly, and what can be shared more widely. A data set only produces benefits when it is used to make decisions and understood consistently.
Trusted data combined with high levels of data literacy leads to proactive, confident decisions. This means that people are making decisions based on observed data, telling them what works well for the firm and what is not working. Using facts, metrics, and predictive insights to help guide better decisions aligned with the firm strategy, the objectives, and the goals.
Data-driven insights are collaborative and include data discovery, augmented analytics, self-service BI, and traditional Business Intelligence. The other side of this coin is data governance, including metadata management, master data management, data quality, and legal, regulatory, and client needs compliance. These are the foundational components which enable your digital transformation. These also allow you to discover data-driven insights and the virtuous circle is complete.
As a side note, data valuation will come into play in this use case. The value of a data set is the sum of the benefits of the decisions it supports minus the sum of the costs to use the data set.
It is not unusual to find the benefits of data-driven decision-making in a business case. For data governance, these benefits include things like making more confident decisions by removing the subjective elements and focusing on the evidence: On the data. Moving from reacting to being proactive, for example, using data to identify business opportunities or market threats before the competition does. You can also highlight that data governance is the foundation that creates the operating environment, by which I mean the rules, roles, and education that delivers and enables high-quality data. And point out that this data governance foundation is best focused on the data that decision-makers want rather than on everything that the firm has.
In summary, most firms want to move away from gut-feel decision-making to data-driven decision-making. Meaning these firms need high-quality trusted data.
You can’t be data-driven if you don’t have data governance.
This makes data-driven decision-making a strong driver to include in your business case for data governance.
Thank you for joining me for this Law Firm Data Governance Podcast episode. I hope you enjoyed it.
Please share, like, and review this episode so that more law firm leaders can learn about data governance. Join me next time for Episode 10, The last episode of this season to hear some top business case tips.
Make sure you always catch new episodes by following Iron Carrot on social media if you still need to do so. And please get in touch if you’ve got questions or topic ideas for future episodes.