The adept use of statistics can greatly strengthen those who manage inside lawyers. Four uses of statistics particularly stand out: to explain, to change minds, to forecast and to diagnose. Here are brief comments on each application. Statistics can:
Describe a phenomenon, such as the concentration of spending on law firms (See my post of March 24, 2005 concerning concentration over convergence.). The visual display of statistical findings has been explored on this blog (See my post of Oct. 1, 2006 and several instances.)
Persuade people, such as to use a Pareto analysis of the value of various patents (See my post of March 21, 2006 on how few patents are worth much.);
Predict the likelihood of events or performance, such as the likelihood of litigation costs exceeding $5 million in a give year (See my post of Nov. 13, 2005 on power laws.); and
Identify causes and contributors to them, such as IQ as a predictor of job performance (See my posts of Jan. 14, 2007 on IQ and Aug. 14, 2005 on regression analysis.).