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Spotlighting Issues in Your Firm Using Strategic Data Analytics Part 1: Productivity

March 22, 2022

by Steve McDonald, CPA

We all know the power of productivity—and the importance of keeping your firm’s consistent year over year. Seeing a drop in productivity, even a small one, can be unnerving. When this happens, it’s critical to find out what’s behind the lag as soon as possible. Could it be overstaffing? A stall in business development? Unfortunate management decisions?

This is where a strategic data analytics solution such as Compass can help.

As we previously discussed, one of the greatest benefits of Compass is the objective data it provides. Not only does objective data let us see what’s really going on within our firm—it keeps us all on the same page. The numbers don’t lie, which means we’re empowered with answers instead of overwhelmed with assumptions.

How we used Compass to identify (and solve) productivity issues

When we first implemented Compass, we began tracking our productivity week to week. We quickly determined it was slightly off track. Because Compass also gives us a global view of our firm, we were able to immediately find out why—with only a few clicks of our mouse.

The first thing we investigated was productivity by employee. This insight led us to drill down into potential problem areas and analyze productivity by department. This is where the features of Compass shine: You can filter and rank data by any category—production, rate per hour, realization, etc.

Through our (quick) analysis, we determined that one department’s productivity was far below the others. Thankfully, this was a newly established department, so the lower metric was to be easily explained. Nevertheless, this gave us the information we needed to reset our productivity expectations and, most important, act on a solution.

Because we had extra capacity and knew the reason behind the surplus, we were able to invest in our sales process. We quickly saw results, and soon projected a return to normal productivity levels within the coming year.

What could Compass reveal about your firm’s productivity?

Keeping your firm’s productivity levels consistent can be difficult, especially when interruptions abound. Compass is one way to quickly remove obstacles to this challenge. Next time, we’ll highlight what strategic data analytics can reveal about your firm’s capacity. In the meantime, to learn more about how Compass could benefit your firm, contact us today.



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