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The role of a legal analyst: Converting intelligence into actionable insights

October 07, 2018

Home Blog Research & intelligence The role of a legal analyst: Converting intelligence into actionable insights

Linking the dots, reaching conclusions, and growing your firm’s potential.

François Levesque has been a legal analyst at ShiftCentral for over 10 years. He works closely with law firm clients, helping support their strategic objectives through tailored information. In the post below, François walks us through a typical day as a ShiftCentral legal analyst, describing how he converts data into insights, as well as his relationship with ShiftCentral’s legal clients.

How would you describe a typical day as a ShiftCentral Legal Analyst?

I often start my day by compiling research projects for my assigned clients. Company profiles are very popular, especially in advance of client meetings or events. I provide the latest corporate developments in order to help inform the attorneys and business development team, which helps them guide the conversation and anticipate where legal needs may be needed. I also produce intelligence briefings, where I perform daily scans of targeted sources to produce a tailored report to help the firm identify new business opportunities. Each briefing is tailored to the client, so this requires a certain level of collaboration with the client in order to deliver a quality product.

ShiftCentral delivers actionable intelligence to its clients. In what ways do you help make the intelligence actionable?

When possible, I look for connections between different pieces of information. What points to a wider trend? Where is the market going? When you’re able to discuss a topic with a client and understand where they are in the market, you’re then better equipped to filter through the abundance of information to better serve their unique information needs. You need to be able to tell a story and understand what it all means. We’ve moved upstream from providing “awareness” to delivering the “so what?” of information. What does it all mean and what can the client learn from the data to make smarter business decisions?

In reference to the technological developments in the information services industry: Do you believe human analysts still have an edge over artificial intelligence?

Humans have the ability to contextualize information. AI can help facilitate the curation process, but there remains a need to add perspective and connect the dots. AI tools may be getting closer to this, and I’m sure the technology will only continue to improve, but humans remain indispensable for context, nuance and oversight.

How do analysts at ShiftCentral provide clients with the edge needed to achieve their strategic objectives?

Conversations go a long way. When we launch a new client service, we always start with discovery meetings. We gather substantial information on the client’s information priorities and how they intend to utilize that information to support larger strategic initiatives at the firm. We also have a powerful feedback mechanism, which include a combination of periodic calls and the ability to make iterative changes on the fly. Our most successful client engagements are when there’sa true collaboration between us and the client.

What type of relationship do you have with clients of ShiftCentral?

I have weekly calls with some of my clients and communicate through email in between those. The nature of my work entails that requests come in throughout the week and are often on a rolling basis. This also allows me to better understand where my clients are and I can tailor my work to be aligned with their internal process and the information they need. This is also where the human element comes into play. These reports would be impossible to compile using AI as each request includes specific questions, and how we deliver answers often depends on how the report is intended to be used by the client. I count myself very fortunate to work with such good clients on a daily basis.

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This article was originally published on ShiftCentral, now part of LAC Group.

François Levesque

François Levesque

François Levesque provides market intelligence and research to law firms that encapsulate to full legal spectrum from regulatory, litigation, transactions and general ongoing trends that affect their clients’ industry.
François Levesque

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François Levesque
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