Change is the only constant. There are changes we can forecast, and there are those to which we must react. Utilizing metrics and analytics will help support everyday operations, and changes at the firm that effect the Library. This data can come from an array of sources: Budget, Electronic Resource Management (ERM), User Feedback and even Associations Surveys.
Let’s start with the budget since this is almost the end of the year and most of our clients are finalizing renewals and expense projections. Consider just how meaningful is your budget? Does it truly reflect your operations? Are you capturing and monitoring revenue streams as well as expense? Are you billing for research services? If so, are you analyzing this data to identify which attorneys are passing on costs, and who is writing off client related expense.
For those with an ERM in place, whether monitoring reference requests or analyzing user data to assess ROI, ERMs are a valuable tool in the arsenal of the Modern Library. Robust reporting capabilities allow the Librarian to slice, dice and analyze data providing a better understanding of what is working in the Modern Library and what might need adjusting, like contracts for online resources seldom used or identification of training opportunities.
Since the Library provides many services, soliciting user feedback is valuable in figuring out what is working and what isn’t bringing value. The Modern Library is responsive to change when it needs to occur. A simple “how are we doing” at the end of a fulfilled request provides real time information and allows for agile change.
With the recent publication of the 2017 Biennial AALL Salary Survey & Organizational Characteristics, valuable metrics regarding salary, staffing patterns, Librarian attorney ratios are available allowing you to benchmark your Library. Are staffing and salaries where they should be for a firm your size?
The value of all these metrics lies in the data the Librarian can use to justify staffing, budgets and to assess the general ROI of the Library. For law firm Administrators, hard data turned into informative charts and graphs can tell the story of the modern Library in a visual way that is powerful beyond the numbers.
Monice M. Kaczorowski is the Vice President of Library Strategy and Innovation. As a former Chief Knowledge Officer, she has been a proponent of law firm KM as a way to improve attorney workflow and foster efficiencies within the practice of law. Managing her own consultancy firm prior to joining Feit, Monice has a keen sense for the large picture while understanding the micro-nuances of legal information management.