The hardest data to extract from a law department is data that requires someone senior to do anything. Try getting the general counsel to evaluate 25 law firms. The next hardest data to obtain is that which someone collects for one purpose, but the data analyst recognizes as a source of secondary insights from that data. For example, information from a matter management system can tell something about how well a law department has permeated and served the various client groups in a company.
Still, a third strata of data lurks within reach of law department managers and data analysts. These pools of data are not consciously collected, but they could tell quite a bit. One example would be the number of emails sent to and from each outside life firm as a proxy for or a supplement to the amounts paid them.
I explore in my article published by the National Law Journal on March 13, 2013.what I term “hidden data” in law departments. There are quite a few. In time, some of them will be tapped and found to be insightful. Here is the URL for the article: 13-03-11 hidden data in law departments NLJ Rees Morrison