Project Summary

Name: Davis & Gilbert
Headquarters: New York City
Services: Advertising and marketing, corporate and middle market M&A, financial services, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, private client services, and real estate
Lawyers: More than 110 lawyers
Website: www.dglaw.com

Business Situation

  • Identify a business intelligence solution that simplifies access, analysis, and visualization of performance and profitability data to support strategic decisions

Technical Situation

  • Build dashboards that offer daily insight into performance
  • Enable unlimited reporting and analysis using pivot tables
  • Extract data from Elite Enterprise software, cube it, and load it into a data warehouse

Why Wilson Allen

  • Software works with data from any source, including Elite Enterprise and 3E
  • Team’s analytics and business of law expertise and intelligence
  • Unparalleled knowledge of Elite practice management software
  • Flexibility and responsiveness

Project Overview

  • Detailed scoping process to understand the firm’s requirements
  • Data validation between the analytics product and the firm’s accounting system
  • Design and delivery of dashboards
  • Vetting of performance and profitability metrics with firm management
  • Roll out to firm

Highlights

  • Fast query response times due to cube data structure
  • Improved productivity by eliminating manual report generation
  • Increased quality of information through automatic daily update of data
  • Enhanced decision support through self-service access to insight

Key Quotes

“Because Wilson Ideate software is so easy to use, we can train our partners and people in accounting and IT to use it to generate reports relatively easily.”
Joseph Tesoriero, CFO, Davis & Gilbert

“We reviewed each vendor’s product and for each of them, I felt something was missing. But that wasn’t the case for us with Wilson Allen’s software solution.”
Michael Salvato, CIO, Davis & Gilbert

Project in Detail

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 the delivery of 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.

This understanding influences Davis & Gilbert’s own approach to business as well. The firm is increasingly focused on performance and profitability and looks to technology as an enabler to help them enhance both. In fact, the firm’s CFO, Joseph Tesoriero, and CIO, Michael Salvato, recently collaborated to identify business analytics software that could help guide the firm’s strategic and operational decisions.

“The metrics have changed for how law firms measure performance. Firms are more focused on profitability, and this influences how the business is managed. They’re looking for analytical tools to help them become more competitive and marketable,” Tesoriero explains.

To support Davis & Gilbert’s quest for analytics software, Tesoriero and Salvato reached out to colleagues in the legal technology industry for recommendations on which software to consider. The pair narrowed down their list to five solutions. After performing due diligence on each, the firm chose Wilson Ideate software. “We reviewed each vendor’s product and for each of them, I felt something was missing,” Salvato says. “But that wasn’t the case for us with Wilson Allen’s software solution.”

Why Wilson Allen?

Many factors contributed to Davis & Gilbert’s selection of Wilson Ideate, with the strength of Wilson Allen’s team of experts as the common denominator. “We ultimately chose Wilson because their expertise was so compelling. They’re very knowledgeable and intelligent, and their profitability folks seem to be key players in the industry,” Tesoriero explains. “They also have a complete understanding of Elite software, which gave us greater confidence in their abilities over others’.”

Salvato concurs, “It’s been said that Wilson knows Elite better than Elite, and we agree, which made it easy for us to join forces with them.”

Addressing three critical needs

Davis & Gilbert had three critical needs related to its analytics initiative. First, they wanted dashboards that their attorneys could easily access to visualize day-to-day operating data and gain insight to help them enhance performance. Second, they wanted to simplify the analysis of profitability data for law firm management. Third, they wanted to simplify the retrieval of data for ad hoc analysis and reporting.

Wilson Allen’ business of law and product development team worked with Davis & Gilbert to meet these needs. The team performed a detailed scoping process to fully explore the firm’s requirements. Next, it validated the transfer of data 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.

Throughout the project, Tesoriero and Salvato were impressed with Wilson Allen’ service-oriented can-do attitude. “Our culture puts the client first and it appears that Wilson Allen’s does too,” Tesoriero says. “They were always willing to make adaptations to 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 would have to manually extract data, run a report, and send a hard copy. Because of the manual nature of this process, the information in the report was dated by the time the partner saw it. Now with Wilson Ideate, 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 that are updated on a daily basis. This capability facilitates access to right-time information to decision makers as well as greater uptime to all users and consumers of the product. “Not only does it help us to think strategically about how we run the firm, but it also 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.

Tesoriero adds, “The software gives us the flexibility to see information in unlimited ways. For example, we can drill down into certain numbers and look at the costs and billing hours associated with a particular matter. Being able to slice and dice information like this is really beneficial for everyone at the firm.”

Improved insight and productivity

With data and analytics that are much more accessible, Davis & Gilbert foresees many positive outcomes. Because information is available with the click of a mouse, its accounting team is able to focus on their day-to-day work rather than run reports, which should help productivity a great deal.

“We’re a small firm. We don’t have 20 analysts sitting in a room that can run reports,” Tesoriero says. “Because Wilson Ideate software 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 can see much more information about the performance of the firm than ever before,” Salvato agrees. “They’ll have information at their fingertips to provide decision support in the moment rather than waiting for someone to generate a report.”

Ultimately, the use of analytics is all about improving the bottom line. Davis & Gilbert believes Wilson Ideate is the right software to 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 product that is going to benefit the firm. We feel that it will.”

Looking ahead, Davis & Gilbert is considering adding onto the software to dig more deeply into people analytics as well as deploying the product on mobile devices.

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