Founded over a century ago, Davis+Gilbert is a law firm that adheres to sound business practices and delivers value-added legal services. The firm is focused on performance and profitability and looks to technology as an enabler to help them enhance both. It elected to work with legal technology specialists Wilson Allen to create a business analytics platform to guide the firm’s strategic and operational decision-making. Joseph Tesoriero, Chief Financial Officer, Davis+Gilbert, says the metrics for how law firms measure performance are changing. “Firms are more focused on profitability, which influences how the business is managed. They’re looking for analytical tools to help them become more competitive and marketable.”
Finding the right partner
To support the firm’s quest to build a robust business intelligence (BI) and analytics environment, Tesoriero and the firm’s Chief Information Officer, Michael Salvato, reached out to colleagues in the legal technology industry for recommendations on which vendors to consider. The pair narrowed down their list to five solutions. After performing due diligence on each, the firm chose Wilson Allen’s Ideate BI enablement services.
Many factors contributed to Davis+Gilbert’s selection of Wilson Allen, with the breadth and depth of Wilson’s team of experts as the common denominator. “We ultimately chose Wilson Allen because their expertise was so compelling. They’re very knowledgeable across many specialist legal technology products, including Elite software, which gave us greater confidence in their abilities over others,” says Tesoriero
Addressing three critical needs
Davis+Gilbert had three critical needs related to its analytics initiative. Firstly, the firm wanted dashboards to visualize day-to-day operating data and gain insights to enhance performance. Secondly, it needed to simplify the analysis of profitability data for law firm management, and finally, it wanted to facilitate the retrieval of data for ad hoc analysis and reporting.
Wilson Allen’s specialists performed a detailed scoping process to explore the firm’s requirements fully. Next, it validated the data transfer between the analytics tool and Davis+Gilbert’s software. Then the team designed the dashboards and vetted the performance and profitability metrics with law firm management before rolling the solution out to the firm.
Tesoriero and Salvato were impressed with Wilson Allen’s service-oriented can-do attitude throughout the project. “Our culture puts the client first, and Wilson’s does too,” Tesoriero says. “They were always willing to adapt the dashboards and reports based on how we wanted to see them. We were never told ‘we can’t do that.’”
Taking a fresh look at law firm data
Before, when a partner wanted to look at performance data, Davis+Gilbert’s accounting team had to extract data manually, run a report, and send a hard copy. As a result, the information was dated when the partner saw it.
With the new Wilson Allen analytics platform, the firm’s decision-makers have an easy way to look at up-to-date performance metrics.
Attorneys and others in the firm can log onto their PCs, click an icon, and see dashboard views of specific performance metrics updated daily. This capability facilitates access to right-time information for decision-makers. “Not only does it help us to think strategically, but it provides information to help the attorneys and associates track their hours every day, see what they’ve worked on, and look at how they’re trending,” Salvato explains.
Improved insight and productivity
With data and analytics more accessible, Davis+Gilbert foresees many positive outcomes. Because information is available with the click of a mouse, its accounting team can focus on their day-to-day work rather than run reports, which helps productivity significantly.
“We’re a small firm. We don’t have 20 analysts sitting in a room that can run reports,” Tesoriero says. “Because Wilson Allen’s Ideate solution is so easy to use, we can train our partners and people in accounting and IT to use it to generate reports relatively easily.”
Access to live data provides a fresher perspective to enhance decisions. “Our partners have information at their fingertips to provide decision support in the moment rather than waiting for someone to generate a report,” says Salvato.
Ultimately, the use of analytics is all about improving the bottom line. Davis+Gilbert believes Ideate’s analytics help it reach this objective. Tesoriero explains, “At the end of the day, it’s important for us to feel that we’ve paid for a solution that will benefit the firm. We feel that it will.”
Founded over a century ago, Davis+Gilbert is a law firm that has endured the test of time by adhering to sound business practices and delivering value-added legal services. Its attorneys understand the real-world cost-driven environment in which its clients operate and provide practical legal and business advice across all disciplines to help its clients succeed.
About Wilson Allen
Wilson Allen’s specialists are trusted by the operational leaders of the world’s largest law firms and professional services organizations. We deliver the projects, the consulting, and the managed services our customers need to run their businesses more profitably by optimizing their business applications, technology, and data.