Who we are – the Founder Story
Why I created a dedicated legal analytics company
I founded Katchr because I was completely frustrated by the problems law firms were having producing good quality management information from their practice management systems.
I spent over 15 years working for one of the leading suppliers of practice management system to UK law firms. During that time, I was responsible for the design and development of three generations of software, aimed at providing a one-stop solution to all a law firm’s financial and operational software needs. It was a successful business that worked with hundreds of mid-sized law firms across the whole of the UK. And our customers were generally really happy with the software we provided. With one notable exception: the reporting.
We captured huge amounts of data about the cases, the lawyers that worked on them, the time spent on them, and the financial transactions related to them. This should have formed the basis of the information needed to manage the firm. But so many of our customers were dissatisfied. The data wasn’t presented in the right way. We weren’t using the formula they thought we should use for a particular measure. They wanted to organise their teams in a different structure for reporting.
The issues were endless. So, we would solve them by creating more reports. And then more reports. We would create what one firm agreed was a perfect set of reports for their needs, and proudly take that to the next firm we worked with. Who would completely reject it as “not how we do things here”.
So we provided tools. Let the firms define their own reports. That will solve it. But of course, it didn’t. Designing reports is not as easy as it might appear. Firms didn’t have anyone who understood the data. Or they employed an analyst who understood the data, but they didn’t understand the firm’s requirements. Or they found a great person who could do the job, but they left after 6 months.
When I left that business, we still hadn’t solved the problem. And neither had any of our competitors. I went off in to financial services for the next stage of my career, and spent a few years seeing how this problem was addressed in another service sector. And I learnt … a lot!
What we did with 15 years worth of legal analytics know-how
On returning to legal software a few years later, I started working with a law firm I had known for years, determined to find a solution to this fundamental problem of how you deliver a tailored suite of management information to different law firms, without the cost of significant customisation, or the need for extensive in-house skills.
And the result was the Katchr app, which has now delivered a tailored suite of dashboards, meeting the specific needs of their management approach, to over 100 law firms, of all types. Delivered as an out of the box solution, but easily tailored by our experienced consultants, the Katchr solution is delivered and supported by a team of data professionals, completely focused on the needs of legal firms.
What we have – The Team and Product
The Katchr team has been assembled over the years to deliver great data solutions, but with an emphasis on exceptional customer service. This is evidenced by our retention rate, with over 98% of customers choosing to remain with us each year, and is a result of the Customer Success program we have developed to ensure all customers continually improve the value they derive from data.
We have carefully selected the right people to join our team which has resulted in a consistent, experience for our customers. Our core values have created a culture of open, honest communication, both internally and externally which has led to our strength in terms of low staff turnover: 50% of the team have been with us for 5 years or more, and the average legal sector experience of our team members is over 13 years.
The heart of the Katchr solution is a law firm-specific data warehouse that acts as the repository for any and all data needed for performance monitoring and management decision making. This is populated from line of business apps using the data connectors that make Katchr unique in the market – pre-built, proven connectors for 19 different legal software applications.
With both on-premise and cloud hosting options available, Katchr can be delivered fast, and most importantly, securely. Our IS027001 accreditation recognises our continuous improvement program for data confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Where Katchr is going – The Roadmap
Privately owned and financially stable, Katchr is in control of its own destiny. Increasing the focus on values beyond profit, the business will be working towards B-Corp status as it grows.
The future of the Katchr product is guided by the vision of the leadership team, combined with the input of our customers via our Product Advisory Board. Regular new releases (typically 6 per year) ensure that customers are provided with continuous improvement in the options they have, and the value they receive.
Developments are currently focusing on broadening the scope of data used within the management information suite, and introducing predictive analytics capability supported by machine learning technology.
Data beyond time and billing receives relatively little attention in many law firm management packs, but it our belief that information relating to clients, team members, new enquiries and service delivery processes is equally important in providing a balanced view of a firm’s performance and progress. We are therefore committed to helping law firms consolidate all their key management information in one place, with a “single pane of glass” providing one version of the truth.
The vast majority of data used for management purposes in law firms today is backward-looking. It is used to monitor and report on things that have happened. However, using that data to predict what might happen is potentially a hugely valuable addition that we are now adding into the Katchr solution. Using a combination of modelling based on our years of legal sector experience, and the latest machine learning technology, and supported by both law firm finance experts and leading academics, we have embarked on a program to take forecasting of financial and outcomes outcomes to a new level. Over the coming months and years, that will deliver predictive analytics to help firms with forecasting income, cash, workload, new business volumes and risk.