In today’s competitive legal services landscape, partners and business development managers that meet with prospective clients need to showcase extensive industry, company, and people knowledge. Most law firm research departments produce reports to help partners and BD managers prepare for meetings. Since most firms have subscriptions to Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for external data sources, analysts are forced to spend hours logging in, searching, copying and pasting into templates.
Some firms are now subscribing to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from data providers so they can automatically generate reports. Rather than wasting precious time manually copying and pasting, research and business development departments design report templates with sections and data fields relevant to specific industries, companies, and individual partners. Once templates are connected to APIs, users can input the name of a company, press a button, and instantly generate a report. In addition to pulling in data from third-party data providers, law firms can integrate data from internal systems such as CRM and experience management, making reports more comprehensive than ever.
The ability to generate reports automatically means that a firm can produce as many reports as the firm needs, which is a giant step forward from the current situation. By using APIs rather than manual methods means that reports can easily and continually be updated while research departments can also see which team plates, data fields and sources get used the most.
Some law firms are adding collaboration functionality adjacent to report content. That way, everyone involved with pursuing a prospect or growing a client account can literally be on the same page. This will lead to better client understanding, better-focused business development targeting and higher new business win rates.
Law firms arriving late to the API game will be at a competitive disadvantage relative to firms that integrate research and internal data to provide partners and BD managers with a shared 360 degree view of clients.