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Does Your Firm Need a Data Analytics Officer?

Littler Mendelson has been making legal headlines over the recent hiring of a Chief Data Analytics Officers. The role is designed to head up the firm's data analytics practice as well as help to implement new technologies.

Other large firms that utilize large amounts of data analytics, or have major technology practices, may be considering following Littler's lead. However, for small to mid-size practices, the Chief Data Analytics Officer role might be a bit over-the-top and unnecessary, though the idea could be implemented in a variety of ways to accommodate different types and sizes of practices.

What's the Point of Big Data?

Data analytics and big data have come a long way, and the will continue to develop and increase in importance as the technology collecting the data continues to improve. From your client intake and retention efforts, to employee satisfaction, to ediscovery and even success at trial and in business generally, big data can play a major part. If there are variables to assess, or numbers to count, big data can be big gamechanger.

For example, wouldn't you like to know if a particular page of your website results in potential clients clicking the "contact us" link, or clicking away and hiring your competition? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to search through every page of the opponent's discovery as if you were running a Google search?

Why Designate a Chief Data Analytics Officer?

While you may take breaks from lawyering from time to time to rest, refuel, and spend a few minutes with those people who you refer to as friends and family, unless you tell it to stop, data continues to collect and technology continues to march forward. And unless you make time in your day/week/month to review that data and take action, then all the collection efforts could just be a waste of (hopefully just a computer program's) time.

If your firm designates a tech savvy associate or partner to be in charge of the data analytics, you won't have to worry about finding the time, as it'll be their job. That means when there is something significant related to the data the firm collects, the firm will have someone that can champion it and make sure that everyone knows about it. After all, there really is no innovation without proper implementation.

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