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Visual Intelligence (Part 2)

How to present complex information and convey value

November 20, 2019

Home Blog Research & intelligence Visual Intelligence (Part 2)
Business graphs

A couple of months ago I posted Visual Intelligence (Part 1). I explained that in my new job as of January 2019 at LAC Group, I spend more time thinking about how to present visually the results of our competitive intelligence and business research services. And that I have focused on visual displays since my first job after college.

To get ideas for different approaches, I turned to limited crowdsourcing. I moderated a 15-minute session on visual intelligence at The Futures Conference, presented by the College of Law Practice Management on October 24-25 in Nashville. In prep for it I contacted 200+ Fellows to ask for samples they had created. I received many. I published three of those samples in Part 1 and post the rest here. I hope they are self-explanatory and inspire more people to use visuals to present complex information.

Present Legal Procurement Survey Findings

By Silvia Hodges Silverstein, CEO, Buying Legal Council

Purpose:  Educate the market about legal procurement and spur interest in the Buying Legal Council.
[Note: For original of this sample, click here.]

Narrative: Many large clients now involve procurement when buying legal services. The Buying Legal Council conducts an annual legal procurement survey on the most important trends for professional buyers of legal services. The infographic covers key insights into typical savings through procurement, including clients’ average number of providers (law firms, ALSPs and ancillary legal services providers), average staffing numbers of legal procurement and legal ops departments, the influence of procurement on legal budgets as well as their most commonly used procurement tools and preferred value-adds. I used visme.co as it is easy to use and even the freemium version lets you put together a professional looking infographic in no time.

Evaluating Risks and Impact on Law Firm Pricing

By Aileen Leventon, LegalShift and International Institute of Legal Project Management

Purpose: To show how scoping and pricing a matter should reflect a systematic analysis of risks and probability of events.

Narrative: Too often, firms treat pricing and thorough scoping as independent activities. That ad hoc approach to each can reduce matter profitability. Smart firms align pricing and project management at the outset of a matter by systematically scoping the work and identifying events that can diminish matter profitability.

Of course, at the matter outset, many facts and circumstances are unknown, so managers must make assumptions about whether events (risks) will occur and, if they do, what impact they have on cost. The pricing must reflect that impact and the likelihood of its occurrence.

The chart below presents a framework for making these choices. Each risk and its respective probability are categorized across on scale of high-medium-low. The first chart presents a decision model using only words across the horizontal and vertical sides of a matrix. The second presents the same information in a visual format using colors, shapes and very few words. Consider which is easier to read and to use, as well as the intended audience.

Summarize Energy Service Offerings Succinctly

By Terri Pepper Gavulic, Chief Business Officer, TerraLex

Purpose: To demonstrate to prospective clients the depth and breadth of industry expertise, as well as the responsiveness of TerraLex members for their multi-jurisdictional legal projects.

Narrative: TerraLex is a global network of independent law firms in over 100 countries. Our members collaborate closely, routinely pitch together for multi-jurisdiction work from global corporations and work together through practice groups and industry sector teams to combine expertise.  In pitch and proposal opportunities, we use infographics to visually communicate the depth and breadth of our combined expertise. When we designed this infographic, we had only a few days to present something to the client, who was the GC of a major European energy company. It succinctly summarized the expertise collected from TerraLex members across the globe. Besides being impressed with the expertise it communicated, the GC noted that our rapid turnaround to gather the expertise and produce the infographic allayed any concerns he had that using a network team might be slower than going to one firm. It definitely helped win the business.

Increase Efficiency with Software

[RF Production Note: When creating an infographic, one of the first choices is whether to produce for print / PDF or to scroll on tablets or a browser. The infographic below was designed to scroll. The illustration here is the best I can do to convert to blog format consistent with the other examples]

By Nicole Black, Legal Technology Evangelist, MyCase

Purpose: To educate small firms lawyers about the benefits of using cloud-based legal software to increase their law firms’ efficiency and profits.

Narrative: As the legal landscape becomes more competitive, lawyers are increasingly seeking new ways to increase efficiency and make the most of their time. After all, time is money, especially when you bill by the hour. Fortunately, 21st technologies provide attorneys with a host of options designed to streamline law firm processes, saving both time and money. According to statistics found in the 2016 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report, one of the most cost effective ways to achieve these goals is to use cloud-based legal software to reduce paper, redundancies and inefficiencies. As seen in the infographic, there has been a rise in the use of legal software by law firms of all sizes and the increase has occurred because astute lawyers are realizing that investing in the right tools and software can make all the difference and allow their firms to stand out from the competition. In this infographic, you’ll also find lots of interesting statistics on how lawyers are using software to increase efficiency in their law firms and improve client service, along with intriguing statistics on how the practice of law in the 21st century is changing.

Fee Arrangements Explained

By Rick Kathuria, Director, Project Management Office and Legal Logistics, Gowling WLG

Purpose: This infographic helps lawyers and buyers of legal services understand the most common kinds of fee arrangements that exist and relate them to risk and reward.

Narrative: Legal Fees can generally be categorized into four different buckets: Effort Based, Volume Discounts (and extension of effort based), Cost Predictability and Value Driven.  As you move from one side of the spectrum to the other, the risk of fee overruns changes from being borne by the buyer to being borne by the seller, along with the reward of efficiencies.  The key exception is capped fees where the reward does not align with the risk.

The Client Investment Model

William C. Cobb, Cobb Consulting

Purpose: Determine the right strategy for managing clients.

Narrative: In the Client Investment Model, firms place clients in one of four quadrants defined by Low or High Profitability and Low or High loyalty to the firm. Here is what the quadrants mean (counter clockwise from lower right):

  • “Rising Stars” require extraordinary efforts to build their loyalty.
  • “Core Clients” need a team of supportive lawyers to provide exceptional service and support.
  • “Kennel Management” clients need constant management to maintain firm profitability.
  • “Venture Investments” clients  are unknown to the firm on where and how they will move.  They are “investments.”

This Model is used to assess what strategy is needed for each client. First, clients and their revenue are represented by circle sizes. Second, arrows represent the direction and speed of movement. Client one (1), just inside the core client range, is moving to a higher loyalty and higher profitability.  The strategy: Insure that client is well taken care of by a team to encourage progress. Client two (2), though a core client, is moving down in profitability and toward “kennel management.” Strategy: Why is this happening? Leadership and the client relationship partner need to jump on this problem and go visit with the client. Is the movement because the client perceives poor service, poor quality or are the firm’s billing rates pricing the client out of the firm?

Ron Friedmann

Ron Friedmann

Ron Friedmann is Chief Knowledge & Information Officer for LAC Group. Ron helps clients and LAC find, use, organize and re-use information and know-how, especially with technology.
Ron Friedmann

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