How good is your data?
Legal Tech applications in your firm will generate tons of new data and this new Technology will seek to use existing data from your data repositories. How “good” is that data? The old adage is “garbage in, garbage out.” Do you know what costs you bear to clean your inaccurate data?
Is your data ugly? Inaccurate data is a significant cause of poor business value being generated by data-driven Legal Tech initiatives. Relational databases (rows and columns) are Silo-ed. Current Data Prep tools generate silos of data with different business meaning. Data fields typically have inconsistent naming which are difficult if not impossible to understand. Data elements aren’t directly related to business concepts. There are too many tables and attributes. Your in-house data experts, if any, are unavailable or uninterested. Do you have this problem?
The value of your corporate data is in the range of 10% to 60% of the valuation of your firm, so its quality is of great monetary significance. Legal Tech investments must take into consideration implementation costs including data clean up if that is an issue. Finding and tracking this should be part of your organization’s technology disciplines. What is your current cost of inaccurate data and is it trending down? How will your proposed Legal Tech investments impact this cost? Business cases you write and present to justify the investments you wish to make, as you speak to your leadership, should include this consideration.
At Incite LegalTech we have an assessment instrument that asks questions like this one: “Do you know your current costs of inaccurate data?” Yes or No? If you answer “No”, then proceed to change the “No” to a “Yes.” We have a hundred questions like this pertaining to a range of topics related to your Technology Infrastructure which when answered give you a Roadmap to being really READY to add Legal Tech on top of your existing foundation. To use an extreme analogy, if you have a Model T Ford car frame upon which you are going to be adding an 800 horsepower engine, you are going to have a problem. It is better to be proactive and address improvement needs at the start.
See What Data Power Can Do
Here’s an example outside the legal domain where the power of data led to new insights, powerful new and unexpected shifts in thinking. Two decades ago when I ran a leadership development consulting company, using a 24-question instrument, which required 5 minutes to respond to, it was possible to produce an online automated 20-page narrative report with data visualizations. The focus was natural preferred communication styles of individual executives and their downline leaders. With this quick autogenerated report, it was possible to help executives know how to effectively adapt their styles for different situations. They were given tremendous insights on group dynamics which caused group members to see the diversity of communication preferences leaders in their team possessed. Style preferences were described according to the DISC Model (similar to, although more simple than, Myers-Briggs, Birkman, and others). To illustrate the concept, the chart below displays the style preferences of several executives from different companies that were measured. Successful leaders possess unique and different styles. The same is true in work groups inside the same company.
The moral of the story is if you are interacting with someone who may be at the opposite end of the diagram from you, you need to flex your style to meet the needs of the other leader in order to be productive. If, by your natural style, you make quick decisions with limited information, you may need to slow down a bit to supply more information to a leader who has a more analytical bent.
Can you see how data analytics can unlock powerful new and unexpected shifts in thinking? This has proven to be the case in the legal domain as well with utilization of powerful new Legal Tech available for use today!
All this to say, in 2022, twenty years later, with computing power we have in our hands today, more amazing things than the above example can be accomplished with Accurate Data in tandem with powerful Legal Tech tools. Computing power has exploded over the last twenty years with amazing capacities now available inexpensively with Cloud computing. Data analytics can be done with amazing speed with previously unheard of volumes of data. We can unlock tremendous business relevant insights, unexpected shifts in the way we understand things.
But getting your foundation ready to support this step change in harnessing new powerful tools is vital. Foundational elements, beyond just data quality, in the categories of Business, Operations, People, Platform, Process, and Security, should be quickly and holistically assessed, which is what we love to do at InCite LegalTech. You can address needed improvements, which are identified, in weeks, not months and quarters, and these can be dealt with in parallel with your Legal Tech implementation.
As the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared!”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
- Ben Franklin, 1736, reminding citizens of Philadelphia to remain vigilant about fire awareness and prevention.”