"Insight is an extremely powerful tool that offers the flexibility that a legal department
needs to more strategically manage its financial operations. The ability to customize reports
and dashboards to our various internal clients' needs is very valuable to the way we do business."
- Brian A. Kenny
Legal Financial Officer
⁄ Success Stories
Marsh & McLennan Companies
To Each His Own: Implementing a Strategic Client-Based Reporting Strategy
Evaluating and managing risk is at the core of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ (MMC) business, and its
legal department is no different. A powerful reporting solution was at the heart of its strategy to improve the way
in which the department uses data to manage risk and improve operations. In implementing this strategy, the first
goal was to begin to gather the necessary data that shows how its firms are managing the company’s interests and at
what cost. To do this, MMC implemented Datacert’s legal spend management system, Advanced Invoice Management System
(AIMS) and brought its law firms into the extensive Datacert e-billing network. The next step was to implement a
robust reporting tool that could handle the dynamic needs of the department and its various users. This was accomplished
when MMC agreed to become the beta tester for Insight, the integrated advanced reporting module in Datacert’s AIMS
solution which was launched in 2008.
Soon after MMC began its legal spend management project, it faced two challenges.
One was a lack of data due to the fact that it had just gotten up and running on e-billing. Creating
meaningful reports that enable strategic, predictive analysis requires a significant amount of historical
data. This challenge was solved simply by the passage of time, and MMC’s data repository grew quickly as
Datacert’s law firm operations team got firms implemented and submitting invoices to AIMS. The second
challenge was that the existing reporting functionality in MMC’s version of AIMS did not have the kind
of flexibility that they needed to meet its strategic, client-based reporting strategy, the vision for
which was based on the premise that law firm relationship managers have different reporting needs from
the general counsel of the various operating companies, who in turn have different needs from individual
attorneys. The idea of moving data from AIMS into a separate reporting tool was not appealing to the
department, so when Datacert began beta testing Insight, MMC was eager to participate.
Brian Kenny is MMC’s legal finance officer, and his vision contributed significantly
to the advanced reporting solution that Datacert launched in 2008. Insight was built specifically
for global legal departments that have complex reporting requirements and must meet the needs of a
wide range of internal clients. Built to enable a client-based approach, Insight provides actionable
metrics that can be customized to each role within a particular legal department. Using Insight, Mr. Kenny
has been able to execute on his vision to provide specialized dashboards and reports to his staff and
management based on each individual’s role in the organization. "We worked with Datacert to identify
best practices and their experience and advice confirmed my instinct that taking a client-based approach
to developing reports would result in operational improvements. The dashboards and reports are excellent
and legal leadership likes them and, more importantly, uses them," Kenny says.
An important advantage of Insight for MMC, other than the visibility that the dashboards
provide across the organization, is the way that it has improved how MMC manages its outside counsel.
Now that the department has several years’ of data in AIMS along with the power of Insight, it has developed
a law firm scorecard that is pivotal to the way it does business. As Kenny explains, "Using the tools in
Insight gave us the ability to create a scorecard that includes everything there is to know in AIMS on each
law firm. This comprehensive view gives us the ability to evaluate and compare firms in greater detail and
manage our outside counsel much more strategically. And, because the reporting tool is within AIMS, the
data is always real-time, accurate, and complete."
MMC’s legal department had a vision for what they wanted to accomplish with metrics but did not have a reporting
tool powerful enough to get them there. The department’s leadership wanted to take a client-based approach to
reporting, developing specific dashboards for each type of internal client it serves, from the law firm
management committee, to the general counsel, to individual attorneys. MMC also wanted to improve the
way they manage their outside counsel by conducting more strategic comparative analysis.
The first step to accomplishing its goals was for MMC to implement Datacert’s legal spend management
solution, Advanced Invoice Management System (AIMS). Secondly, MMC implemented Insight, Datacert’s
advanced reporting solution designed to meet the robust needs of customers such as MMC. Insight
allows customers to leverage the data in their legal spend management system with a great deal of
flexibility. MMC served as the beta test for Insight and helped in the development process by
providing feedback on how to best meet industry needs.
The combination of the flexibility that Insight provides and the fact that MMC now has several
years’ worth of e-billing data to analyze, allows its legal department to use metrics in a more
strategic way. The ability to create a range of dynamic reports has enabled MMC to develop a
detailed scorecard for each of its outside counsel firms that offers a comprehensive view of
each firms’ performance. In addition, the internal clients that the legal department serves
benefit from customizable dashboards that allow them to quickly see metrics that are relevant
to the way they practice law and manage outside counsel.