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Data visualization software and its potential for law departments

Software designed to make a mass of information more meaningful by displaying it graphically holds promise for law departments. Advanced departments, awash in various kinds of data, will find and display data patterns more effectively with visualization software. Let’s consider some possibilities, such as if a law department:

 Has its lawyers track their time. Portrayals of those time records visually would more quickly show imbalances of workloads by level of lawyer or for particular business units.

 Manages hundreds of lawsuits. A map color-coded according to the number of cases pending in a state could have columns, the height of which shows the reserves set for cases in that state.

 Maintains a dashboard. The software translates the scorecard’s metrics into dials or pie charts or other creative – and immediately informative – graphics.

 Depicts its online documents. Software could show the distribution of those documents by client or topic or author, thereby giving a much better sense of the department’s knowledge base.

 Improve its law firm evaluations. Evaluations of law firms coupled with amounts spent and outcome information — all in a visual display — conveys much more than text or tables.

 Evaluates lawyers. Ratings, combined with compensation and succession plan data, lend themselves to visualization software.

For all of these analyses, a three-dimensional depiction in several colors brings out trends and patterns much more effectively than traditional charts and tables. Even more power is at hand if the software lets the use drill down to see more information underneath the displayed information.

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