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Analytics Offers You Can't Refuse

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 11, 2017 5:56 AM

If you thought you could ignore business analytics in your law practice, well, analyze this:

Big Data, with more than 25 billion smart devices on the Internet of Everything, is getting bigger by the nano-second. Not even Big Brother can ignore the need for analytics to handle the information overload.

Take, for example, the case of Gary Pusey. He pleaded guilty to insider trading last year after the Securities and Exchange Commission identified him by using analytics to pour though billions of rows of data going back 15 years. The Analysis and Detection Center of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit uses the software to identify individuals who have made repeated, well-timed trades ahead of corporate news.

Basically, they made him an offer he couldn't refuse. So it is with business analytics: you just have to accept it. Here are some reality checks:

1. IoT Discovery

"Perhaps Internet of Things is another step in the process of lawyers letting go," said William Belt, director of enterprise development at Complete Discovery Source. "They're going to have to trust analytics and the technology to deal with the ultimately gargantuan volumes that can come out of this brave new world."

Among other challenges facing lawyers, they will have to deal with complicated discovery issues, especially when trying to comprehend data that is coded and not in natural language. We're not talking just email. Analytics helps with that.

2. Cybersecurity

As email hacks have rocked companies like Yahoo, cybersecurity will continue to be a big issue for lawyers in coming years. The federal government has even offered rewards to developers for help with the problem.

Analytics can sort out information, detecting vulnerabilities, weighing options and deploying better security technology where needed most. It can help prevent rather than react to breaches.

3. Resource Management

Justin Farmer, director of product management at Thomson Reuters Elite, works with law firms to implement analytics. The first step, he says, is to realize you're competing for the attorney's time and attention.

"In this day and age, we have information overload," he said. With so many emails coming in, so many websites to read, and so much information out there, sifting through it all and effectively filtering it down is essential.

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