### Useful calculations for those who analyze law department data

Along with my previous posts on statistical analysis (See my post of May 31, 2006,), graphical depictions of data (See my post of June 30, 2006 on analysis and depiction tools.), and net score analyses (See my post of Sept. 25, 2006.), consider some of the other calculations that can investigate law department data.

Extrapolate. Extrapolation means to extend a time series of metrics. For example, if you know the number of complaints filed against your company per quarter for the last three years, you can plausibly extrapolate the volume for the coming year.

Quartile. Spending on outside counsel lends itself to an analysis that uses quartiles. If you rank how much your department paid each of its law firms from the largest amount to the smallest amount, the the figure in the middle is the median. Midway between the median and the smallest amount lies the first quartile figure is; the third quartile figure, midway between the median and the largest amount.

Normalize. When you normalize, you convert data from very big and very little sources on the basis of a divisor in common (See my posts of May 31, 2005 on normalizing city and state figures by dividing by the numbers of residents; and Jan. 1, 2006 on crime and population figures.).

Index. Another calculation is to create an index (See my posts on indices of Aug. 28, 2005 about client satisfaction; Aug. 14, 2005 about trademarks; Sept. 10, 2005 about overall law department performance; Aug. 27, 2005 about complexity; and Aug. 20, 2006 about law firm performance.).

Gap analysis. A law department benefits from gap analysis when it compares its present situation to its goal situation or when it calculates differences, such as between clients’ ratings on an attribute, such as timeliness, with their ratings of its importance (See my post of Oct. 26, 2005 on client satisfaction and gap analysis.).