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Ropes & Gray Submits Innovative Data-Analytics and Behavioural Sciences Solution to COVID-19 Global Legal Hackathon

Ropes & Gray – working alongside the head of global compliance monitoring, analytics and digital of a global pharmaceutical company, Methods Analytics, Professor Mark Thompson of the University of Exeter Business School, and Raadical Entertainment – has created a data analytics and behavioural sciences-based communications tool as part of its submission to the Financial Times-supported Global Legal Hackathon, in which organisations across the legal sector and beyond have been challenged to develop solutions to problems created by the coronavirus pandemic.  The team’s solution is designed to address communication challenges from the ground-up within the NHS and other public health organisations during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond in order to take a preventative approach to addressing front line needs before they become crises.   

Amanda Raad, a partner at Ropes & Gray, in London, who led on the project, said: “Public health organisations are facing unprecedented challenges. Small, unidentified needs experienced by those on the front lines have quickly escalated. We have developed a tool combining data collection, analytics, and behavioural science techniques to amplify employee voices in real time so that decision-makers can make the right decisions at the right times.” 

Will Rosen, managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s London office, who also worked on the project, said: “Our platform uses technology to gauge, monitor, and optimise resource allocation based on real-time feedback from the front lines. Our prototype survey takes less than five minutes to complete and is directed to engage public health employees across regions and seniority levels whose anonymous feedback provides crucial assessments of all types of needs, from physical resources like PPE, to human needs, such as extra mental health support.” 

Amanda Raad added: “The survey also gauges morale among those on the front lines, including employee confidence in the organisation to manage the current crisis and in preparedness for a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Free text options give employees an opportunity to raise issues or concerns not otherwise anticipated by the survey, to get as close to a real conversation as possible.” 

The platform uses data analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to efficiently process the survey data. Decision makers can then review the results via easily accessible dashboards that use colour-coding and graphs to summarise trends. A heat map provides a system-wide overview of strengths and vulnerabilities, while the dashboards allow users to drill down into a particular location’s survey results and hot points, including a measure of overall employee satisfaction, areas most in need of attention, and specific concerns raised by respondents. Furthermore, NLP identifies recurring key words to detect potential risk areas not specifically predicted in the survey, such as workplace harassment or cultural issues, which may not yet be on management's radar. 

The platform can also be configured to guide leaders on recommended next steps. For example, if a certain percentage of respondents in an area indicate they lack confidence in management’s crisis preparation, the tool will alert users that they will need to set up follow-on conversations with personnel in the flagged areas. This human interaction is a critical component of the overall design of this offering in facilitating management engagement in identified hotspots. 

For a detailed explanation of the solution and demonstration, please view our submission here.

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