This is one of a set of posts about the content and the discussion at ILTA 2014 in Nashville. Originally intended as a single post, the result was too long for that and I decided to split them up. See also ILTA 2014 – the context and the logistics.
Big data and analytics are two distinct subjects, both of which were well covered at ILTA. I group them together for these purposes because they were the joint subject of a panel discussion in which I took part. Organised by UBIC, the discussion was called Advanced analytics for the legal profession – big data challenges, analytic solutions and thoughts for the future. My co-panellists were Gerard Britton of Topiary Discovery and Yoshikatsu Shirai, Chief Client Technology Officer at UBIC, and the moderator was UBIC’s Paul Starrett.
My fellow panellists will forgive me if I focus on what I said, partly because I have the benefit of my preparatory notes, and partly because my part was deliberately intended as a summary.
The conventional Big Data discussion is all about big volumes managed by big law firms for big cases for big clients; for most lawyers that tends to make it sound like someone else’s problem. An ILTA audience is more broadly-based than most and it seemed important to me to, as it were, democratise the subject.
Big Data is not just a synonym for “lots of data”. Conventionally, it is said to comprise volume, velocity and variety; people tend to forget the fourth “v”, value. Armed with the right analytical tools, one can convert such data from being not just a record of what has happened but a source of prediction of what might happen, using what UBIC calls “behavioural informatics”. Read the rest of this entry »