Business Intelligence (BI) is rapidly being utilized and acknowledged as a critical weapon in the strategic arsenals of modern law firms. In a nutshell, Business Intelligence is a research process that enables law firms (or any business) to increase its competitive advantage by intelligently using available data in decision-making.
In the past, Business Intelligence occurred on an ad hoc and informal basis in the legal industry. Before the proliferation of a legal trade press, the Internet (and competitor's websites), and market intelligence services, information about clients, prospects, and competitors was likely gained on the golf course, at bar association functions, or through the occasional press release issued by a law firm that was an early adopter of marketing.
Now a cottage industry has sprung up to support the burgeoning efforts of law firms to understand how to remain competitive, profitable and viable. As evidence of this, within the past year there have been numerous conferences and seminars aimed at teaching law firm management how to appropriately develop and use Business Intelligence, and a number of products and services are being offered to aid firms in their quest for actionable intelligence.