Legal departments that use enterprise legal management solutions collect a huge amount of data about their legal operations. Records about the legal department’s transactions, their open matters and matter history, the performance of their outside counsel, and many other facets of the department’s processes are captured by the systems they use to run their legal business. Although this data can provide critical insights that help the department operate more efficiently, cost-effectively, and successfully, those insights must be unlocked. Data science is the key that can provide access to the full value of that collected data.
Why is data science important?
Data science is a field of business that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from noisy data. Data science provides the discipline and tools to deliver actual knowledge and understanding out of data points. While it may sound technical, it actually empowers people to make confident, data-driven business decisions.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now sufficiently advanced to provide powerful means to process a large amount of data and deliver valuable insights from it. These technologies have been integrated into some of the solutions that insurance claims and corporate legal departments use to support their strategic decision-making. The result is better visibility into legal spend, which can drive better billing outcomes, improved billing compliance, and more efficient and productive operations.
Legal and claims departments that leverage data science can significantly improve internal processes and workflows while standardizing the data they collect to ground their decisions in fact instead of instinct.
Finding the expertise you need
The right expertise and experience are crucial to using data science to activate the value of the data you collect. However, most organizations do not have a team of data scientists available to build a data science center of excellence to develop AI algorithms and solve complex problems. It’s therefore necessary for most companies to partner with a provider that can deliver the necessary knowledge and technology.
In addition to extensive experience with AI, any data science provider should have “data empathy.” Data empathy is an understanding of what you need from your data and of the data itself. It allows them to identify any biases or other human subjectivity in the data collection, and account for them in the data analysis. A great deal of expertise and experience across varied customer needs are necessary for the development of data empathy.
There are three crucial types of experts a data science provider should have on their team to successfully translate your data into actionable decisions and positive business outcomes:
- Process design experts talk with you and your team members to understand your pain points or parts of your jobs that simply don’t work well or are difficult to execute. They also generate strategies for addressing these issues. These experts have a high level of empathy and are very intuitive about the requirements needed to simplify and reduce the complexity of workflows. In addition, they are masters of user interfaces and customer experience.
- Domain experts work closely with the process design experts to develop requirements for the AI model. To do this, they use customer input along with their knowledge of best practices from various domains. Domain experts also label data appropriately to facilitate the building of a custom AI model.
- Data scientists translate data sets and create a suitable AI model with the appropriate features based on the customer's needs. It's vital for data scientists to understand the client's needs and not to start with a preconceived one-size-fits-all AI solution. Data scientists are strategic design experts with UI/UX design experience.
The combination of good data science and the right expertise can drive improved performance for all legal and claims departments. To learn more about using data science to unlock the potential value of your legal data, download our ebook Amplify your legal operations with data science.