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Q: How do you think the emergence of business intelligence financial analysis software is going to affect the legal community over the next year? Do you see changes in the near future in your own organization? How is your firm/law department using these tools to improve client service?

A: The use of business intelligence tools within law firms is likely to continue to increase at a rapid rate. As firms continue to grow in both size and complexity, the need to analyze large amounts of data to support effective decision-making becomes increasingly critical, and the use of traditional tools such as spreadsheets becomes more of a constraint. Large firm mergers will only exacerbate this, requiring more analysis and more levels of analysis. In fact, the merger process itself creates a huge need for informed analysis to support the merger decision. Only with robust databases accessed via BI software can firms hope to provide this level of financial analysis.

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