It was announced today that Sky Analytics has been acquired by Huron Consulting Group. Sky’s business analytics platform is added to Huron’s legal products and services portfolio that includes eDiscovery and contract management solutions.
This is a very good move for Sky. By remaining product agnostic, the acquisition keeps open a much larger potential marketplace than if Sky had gone to one of the matter management/ebilling solution vendors.
I am so impressed by the information provided in Sky Analytics’ newly-released Gender Study. They evaluated $3.4 billion of ebills from 3,000 firms across the US and looked at gender as it impacts billing rates, law firm roles, work assignments, write-offs, etc. Instead of restating their findings, read the report yourself and you also will be wowed.
I for one am hoping to see more quality analytics like this available for public consumption. Hats off to Dr. Sylvia Hodges Silverstein and the rest of the team at Sky.
Yesterday I attended the Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Legal Profession conference sponsored by Ark Group by invitation from Chris Bullock at Sky Analytics. What a great conference! Here are some take-aways from the various speakers from an ebilling perspective.
- Law firms are employing BI with respect to profitability, leveraging and write-downs to better evaluate the “value” of client relationships and to better position themselves when negotiating alternate fees.
- During annual client meetings when past services are reviewed and future services are negotiated, it was recommended that firms bring their metrics. Many clients do not have this kind of information and appreciate anything firms can supply. It can also be helpful to refute any client metrics that portray the law firm in an unflattering light or to illustrate a problematic fee structure.
- There are new Legal Project Management (“LPM”) tools available that also manage legal fees. I wonder, will the predictability of the fee, alignment between time recorded and realization, and ease of bill submission in these LPM tools lead to the next generation of ebilling?
Some great quotes:
Chris Potter – “It used to be the sooner you broadcast bad news the better. Now we don’t want to broadcast bad news at all. We need tools to identify when a situation starts to go bad so we can deal with it before it escalates.”
Christopher Sweet – “Measure. Monitor. Manage. Then meet regularly.”
Chris Potter – “We need to deliver business intelligence that is digestible and actionable to inside counsel.”