Importance of Fresh Data: Strength in Numbers
If you’ve been receiving pre-bill information from your law firm, in real-time, then you’re likely already familiar with some of the benefits that it brings, particularly in the area of accruals. The ability to track hours and predict legal spend has proven to be a boon not only for clients, but for firms as well. When clients have access to accrual data, they can put those numbers into a forecast and budget for even more legal services, if necessary.
But real-time is still not (yet) the future, and numbers are still, well…just numbers. They can’t tell us whether some new, potentially game-changing data might be on its way at any moment and maybe we should wait before acting, or if what we’re looking at is the whole story. Up until now, there hasn’t been a way to know what you don’t know, and the confidence of your data has been limited. Up until now.
Enter: the “Fresh Data" Charts
“Fresh Data Insights” is an overview of the “freshness” of all your data, from all your firms. It tells you how recently your data was shared with you, and whether your data could stand to use a little “freshening”, i.e. if it’s been a while since any new numbers have been shared with you, indicating the possibility that new information might be coming down the pike.
Sometimes, large quantities of information in a specific area, like a disproportionate amount of matters to firms, can make it difficult to understand the chart in its default, global view. The good news is that your “Fresh Data” charts are dynamic. In this situation, you’ll want to zero in and click on a specific engagement, narrowing your focus exclusively to all the matters within that particular engagement. Everything you need to know is contained within the “Fresh Data” chart, but depending on the size of your data, you may need to segment your viewing of it.
There are two types of charts: Matter Breakdown and Engagement Heatmap.
The Matter Breakdown chart shows which matters have had activity in the preceding 30 days. By default, the chart contains four rings; the innermost ring shows the user's overall breakdown; the second most inner ring shows the information firm by firm; then engagement by engagement; and the outermost ring is matter by matter.
Using the Engagement Heatmap, you can see what percentage of matters have had new data within the preceding 30 days. The colors correspond to percentages.
The Fresh Score
To the right of your “Fresh Data” chart, you’ll see a several star rating; what we call your “Freshness Score.” While you might decide to look at the freshness of particular matters, the Fresh Score gives a quick snapshot of overall "freshness" within the preceding 90 days. It's Viewabill's way of evaluating whether or not there is data missing from your firms. Aim for at least 3 out of 5 stars.
You also have the ability to set your own, custom-scheduled alerts to notify you via email when it's been a while since the last data activity.
There are two types of Fresh Data alerts: Entry Alerts and Sync Alerts.
Clicking the first option will inform you when there's been a lapse since a particular firm’s last time entry. You can also customize the alert to notify you when it's been too long since you've received an entry on a specific engagement or matter that the firm is working on.
Sometimes, data may be available, but a synching issue might be holding it up from arriving at its intended destination. Clicking the second option, synchronization alert, ensures you'll always be informed if you've missed a scheduled data synchronization from a firm.
In either option, click the box at the bottom to have a Viewabill concierge notify the firm’s administrator on your behalf.
Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk
Viewabill is committed to assisting clients and firms in communicating with each other and making sure they’re both aligned and on the same page throughout the billing cycle. Our new “Fresh Data” feature ensures there’s not only a steady flow of information between clients and firms, but that the information can be acted upon with full confidence and wielded for maximum benefit for all parties involved.
Stay tuned for our next exciting, firm-facing release this winter. It’s so big, it’s almost an entirely new product. That’s all we can say for now.