Through a series of blog posts, we will explore how Power BI can be creatively used within law firms to create insights from data and inform business decisions. Let’s dance with data.
Visual tools allow us to present our data in engaging ways that make immediate sense to the viewer. Which is important as we consume data at an increasingly rapid rate. The right tool can convey a data story in an instant. And we all know that busy decision makers prefer a “one page summary” when it comes to financial information.
Line, pie and bar charts are familiar and easily understood but they are only the surface of what’s available.
Let’s take a deeper dive into one of these visual tools: Heat Maps
A basic heat map is a table that uses different coloured and sized cells to represent value.
This can be useful as it immediately gives a visual clue as to where your “heat” areas lie – where you might be generating the most fees, the most enquiries etc. Because you are using a table, you can look at those “hot spots” via two dimensions.
The above sample looks at fees billed by top 10 clients, divided in practice areas.
You can look at this heat map and immediately understand conveyancing is generating the most fees, and that James and Maggie are the highest paying clients in that area. You can see that they only use conveyancing services and there may be an opportunity to introduce those clients into other services within your firm.
In terms of how we do this within Power BI, simply add a table, and then use the conditional formatting on both the background and text to create the colours. The above sample also uses data bars to give further indication of value size.
Heat maps can be a good way to convey information to your team, without giving away sensitive details. For instance, you could use a heat map to indicate how different practice areas are performing over the year based on their billings:
We can also apply the heat principle to literal maps
The first map below shows us how many visits we are receiving to our website where the visitor is located in Australia. My post on Google Analytics talks about how Power BI can connect to your website analytics.
The second map shows us how many matters we are opening per location in Australia.
Using this information, we can see that we receive a fair amount of web traffic from Perth and Adelaide. However, we haven’t received any work from those areas. You might adjust your marketing activities to target those areas.
Other applications for heat maps (the literal kind) could include mapping how various office locations are performing or mapping where people are working. If a distributed work force is as a cornerstone of firm culture, you could provide that information live on your website. We will explore how to do that in a upcoming blog post.
Visual representations of data make more immediate sense than a set of numbers. In turn this lead to more insight and better decision making. Another benefit is that it enables you to share comparative data, without revealing potentially sensitive numbers. Heat maps are just one way to tell a data story, beautifully, effectively and efficiently.
If you would like to explore using heat maps (the literal or table kind) further, please get in touch with me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Join me as I explore more about how Power BI can super-charge your reporting and give you valuable business insights
About the Author
Robyna May is part of our Power BI team, her role sees her taking raw data and developing it into clear visual representations that can be used to inform strategic decisions.
Robyna has over twenty years’ experience in the Australian legal sector, both working within firms and supporting firms. She has worked as a project manager, IT manager, knowledge director, legal firm practice manager, technical consultant and software developer. This broad range of experience allows her to see both the technical and practical sides of any project. In each of these roles, she has had a keen interest in pulling data from various sources and presenting it in such a way that allows decision makers to have a clear, birds eye view of their practice.
With degrees in both IT and Law, she has a deep understanding of how law firms work and how technology can support them. She regularly writes and presents on topics associated with the intersection of IT and law.
- Posted by Verlata Administrator
- On July 14, 2020
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