The latest issue of the Association of Legal Administrators' (ALA) member publication Legal Management, features an article by InsideLegal's Jobst Elster on "Big Data in Law Firms". If you aren't familiar with the ALA, the association includes nearly 10,000 members in 30+ countries with a mission "to be the undisputed leader for the business of law, focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community."
The big data topic is definitely in vogue and the chatter surrounding what it is, what it could be, and why law firms and all legal professionals should care is louder than ever. Although written for the legal administrator/executive director audience, the lessons learned apply to all legal professionals:
- Big data is real and here to stay, so start figuring out what it means to you/your firm/company.
- According to a 2012 IBM Big Data study, 71% of businesses are still in the big data education and exploration phases versus only 6% who have deployed two or more big data (mostly analytics) initiatives.
- When asked how big data might positively impact legal IT within the next five years, 16% of those participating in the 2013 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey, said that "big data would lead to more strategic use of data via predictive data modeling, data mining and more accessible data analytics".
- Big data does not mean you have to have ginormous volumes of data and information. The smallest data sets, if properly mined and analyzed, can yield the largest nuggets of KM and business intelligence 'gold'.
- Big data analytics is often the big data default when it comes to answering the 'what is it?' and 'how do I use it?' question.
- The business world is excited about big data because it provides a proven method for integrating structured and unstructured data sources for mining and analysis purposes.
- Big data ROI is not an oxymoron. There are dozens of real world use cases of big data in legal.
Do you prefer to listen versus reading? We previously recorded a 'Big Data for Lawyers' podcast for ABA's Law Practice Today which provides a good big data primer and legal insights.