The business platitude “data is the new oil” has proven its worth in spades over the last decade. The country’s biggest companies, groups like Google, Facebook and Amazon, trade primarily in data; organizations across industries have invested heavily in business analytics, developers and analysts; and “data scientist” roles have become some of the most lucrative jobs on the market. Yet law firms, for the most part, haven’t quite caught up.
But that might be changing. A growing number of law firms are attempting to navigate the Big Data age by appointing data “leaders” under a few different titles—chief data scientist, head of data analytics and chief innovation officer, to name a few. As the variance in names may indicate, the industry is still fairly new to data work, leaving law firm data science leaders with a tall task: figuring out how to make law firm data valuable and profitable, and doing it quickly enough to keep pace with the business community.
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