In June at Legaltech West Coast, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel which included some of the leading law department operations professionals in the industry. The session was titled “Leveraging Data to Reduce Costs, Identify Issues and Improve Decision Making,” but we had a hard time moving past the first issue, cost.

The audience wanted to hear all about using data for fin ancial management, alternative fee arrangements, law firm negotiations and RFPs. While it is true that reducing costs is an important objective for law departments—according to the 2015 Law Department Operations Survey it drives the metrics tracked at almost 70 percent of law departments—these strategies are incremental. We never seem to ask the question: Why only focus on a slice of the pie? Why not the whole pie?

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