Data, Design & Daily Work at Professional Services Firms

A 5-minute read about our challenge on future of work, innovation, productivity, legal design, data, transparency, professional services firms, employee experience, client experience, AI, ML, NLP and client value.

Ilves’ Stockholm Startup Bootcamp Challenge

Professional services firms (“PSF”) offering customised, knowledge-based services to their clients are in change. They move from a relationship-based model into data-driven one. It changes the way the work is done.

We believe that the successful shaping of future PSF job tasks will be achieved by combining design thinking with the effective use of organisational information and knowledge. ‘One place access to data’ enables simplified job tasks, a better employee experience and improves productivity for knowledge workers like lawyers, accountants, and engineers.

PSFs systematically build new capabilities that help their experts both focus on high-skilled job tasks and enable the easy execution of low-skilled tasks. Technology plays a key role when the goal is to maintain profits while continuously improving productivity. Sometimes hype surrounding technology leads to tech biased thinking, “technology alone will increase profitability”.

Data plays an even more profound role than technology in the future of PSF organisations. However, it is often a challenge to identify which data can add business value and drive efficiency to meet clients’ new demands.

Reducing technology bias by developing a human-centric approach on top of data and tech capabilities improves the probability of success when shaping the future of work.

High-skilled PSF jobs require deep knowledge and creativity. However, the list of everyday ‘have-to-do’ tasks is long. They take a lot of valuable staff time from PSF experts and don’t directly generate client value.

So, over the next two days, it is your task to narrow the gap between data and daily work in the professional services firms.

The challenge

Redesign professional services experts’ every-day future work process or processes, inspired by designerly methods and the innovative use of organisational data.

Start by considering:

  • What are the universal PSF expert’s (or certain profession’s) everyday tasks?
  • Which of these tasks prevent faster and better quality service and hinder good user/client experience?
  • Which of these tasks are easy to redesign with a single-point access to organisational information and knowledge? (Often most value is created in tasks, where a expert has to jump from one place to another to find the information needed.
  • In which of these tasks designerly-tools or mindset could create added value to the business (e.g. better quality, faster service or better user experience)?

You can redesign single PSF tasks, combine existing ones, replace them with better ones or invent a totally new way of doing things by utilising organisational data and design tools.

Your aim is to help professional services experts learn how they can become more data-savvy.

They might get a toolbox to jump start their design journey. Or they might get an easy to understand list of low hanging fruit’ daily tasks to be able to engage people within their organization and get them to join the ‘data & design’ journey – See the lawyers’ daily task list drafted by the Brainfactory team 8 for inspiration.

Focus on the value-adding ‘creation’ processes and tasks. Administrative tasks will not be included in the scope this time.

Assume that all relevant organizational information and knowledge is already available from one place, as it is with Ilves enterprise search. Any currently available AI, ML or NLP capability might supercharge your solution.

In the context of this challenge, it’s assumed that a professional service expert has no prior design knowledge or experience.

The end results should help experts be more efficient, provide better quality outcomes and better user/client experience.


Ilves is an established and innovative family business. It is comprised of three companies: Ilves Solutions Ltd (2011), Ilves Valmisohjelmistot Oy (2017), and Ilves Invest Ltd. (2017)

Harnessing the value of data is key when creating a data-centric and self-steering future workplace. We at Ilves believe that gathering data into one easily accessible place is the starting point for all enterprises when building a competitive edge from data. This is why we developed the Ilves enterprise search service.

Our Ilveshaku Search Cost Calculator helps estimate how much staff time and costs can be saved in your organisation for more skilled tasks.

Published 16.1.2020 at 17:48