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Here’s a Look at How and Where Legal Departments are Utilizing Data Analytics: eDiscovery Trends

Let’s face it, data analytics are everywhere.  It’s no longer just Netflix suggesting movie choices based on previously watched movies or Amazon suggesting your next purchase, all companies are using data analytics to drive their business processes in various departments, including their legal departments.  But how are in-house legal departments actually using data analytics capabilities?  Here’s a new study that offers some answers.

The Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (CTRL), an industry education and research group committed to the development of practical and proactive guidance for lawyers as they attempt to leverage various technologies in practice, commissioned the Information Governance Initiative (IGI) to conduct a survey regarding in-house legal departments’ use of data analytics across six use cases.  Those use cases are: 1) eDiscovery/Other Investigations, 2) Legal Matter Management, Billing, & Budgeting, 3) Information Governance, 4) Outcome Analysis or Risk Assessment, 5) Contract Review and 6) Selection of Outside Counsel. Data Analytics in the Legal Community 2015-2016 Trends is the resulting report prepared by CTRL based on that study.

While the study doesn’t identify the number of participants, it does note that a majority of survey respondents were attorneys (around two-thirds), with most holding senior-level positions. Around one third of respondents were non-attorneys, including IT, analytics, and other professionals within or providing support for the inhouse legal team.

Perhaps not surprisingly, eDiscovery/Other Investigations was the use case with the highest percentage of utilization of data analytics – it was the only use case for which a majority of legal departments (56%) reported that they were using data analytics.  Legal departments reported that their top three uses for data analytics in this area were culling and early case assessment (at 72.4% of respondents using analytics for eDiscovery each) and relevancy review (71.1%) – these were the only uses with over 70% of respondents. In addition to that, 71% of legal departments indicated that their spending on analytics for eDiscovery would increase or stay the same next year.

As for Information Governance (IG), it was the third most common use case with almost one third of legal departments using analytics.  Respondents using data analytics for IG indicated that it was used for “facilitate defensible disposition” and “facilitate compliance with records policies or other requirements” the most (77.4% of respondents using analytics for IG each).

The free eight page report is available here.

So, what do you think?  Does your legal department use data analytics?  If so, for what?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.