Data Trends in the Legal Industry: Embracing Data Classification Standards – Jeff Cox writes in Legaltech News
Industry standards are the connective glue that have helped countless industries move toward modernization and reach past perceived industry plateaus to achieve new levels of growth. The trend of increasing adoption and improvement of data standards in the legal industry is a notable trend to watch over the coming years, and is one that UniCourt and many of the leading voices in the legal tech ecosystem are rallying behind.
We’re excited to share UniCourt’s latest article in Legaltech News written by our Director of Content, Jeff Cox: “Data Trends in the Legal Industry: Embracing Data Classification Standards.” Jeff’s article is the first in a three-part series on data trends impacting the legal industry.
In this article, he covers (1) the importance of industry standards for data classifications by sharing examples from the healthcare and banking industry, (2) why the legal industry needs to continue developing its own standards, like the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES), the National Subject Matter Index Database (NSMI), and the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance, and (3) the need for the legal industry to move beyond just increasing adoption of standards to actively encouraging law firms, legal departments, legal tech companies, and legal support providers to work on improving those standards.
Here below is an excerpt from our article in Legaltech News:
Across the legal industry, from law firms and legal departments to legal technology companies and others in the legal landscape, data lays the foundation for modernization and advancement in the business of law. When it comes to staying on the front lines of legal innovation and moving your business forward, there are three key trends to watch: (1) trends in data classification, (2) trends in data structuring, and (3) trends in data portability. This three-part series will take a deep-dive into each of these major trends and discuss their practical implications and applications for legal professionals.
Data classification is how we label and categorize data to make finding information easier and gathering intelligence possible. Developing your own custom data classifications is great for independent internal systems that aren’t going to communicate with other applications. But what happens when you need to integrate your data with external data sources or share it across different technology platforms to gain the insights you need? If your data classifications can’t translate from one system or platform to the next, critical knowledge may be lost, leading to questionable reporting capabilities and added manual data processing downstream.
This is where industry standards come in. Industry standards label and classify data in a way that allows applications and databases to share data interchangeably, without clunky errors due to different naming conventions. By ensuring that the same labels are used across an industry for certain data sets, it opens up the potential for better interactions between businesses, their clients, and any ancillary support services.
Multiple industries have already embraced industry standards as the norm. The American Psychiatric Association, the governing body for psychologists and psychiatrists, requires providers to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM standardizes medical codes and diagnostic definitions across the psychology industry in the United States, allowing patients to easily change providers and providers to communicate with hospitals and other institutions quickly and efficiently without having to adapt to a new classification system.
Similarly, the American Bankers Association promulgates industry standards to ensure safe, efficient, and accurate processing of transactions across the U.S. In order to perform the countless transactions occurring each day between banks, payment processors, fintech companies, and other financial services providers, they all use industry standards to give their clients a seamless user experience and greatly reduce any costly data processing issues.
Industry standards are crucial to the advancement of industries like medicine and banking. As the legal industry continues to advance, and the explosion of legal technology and the use of legal data shows no signs of slowing, it only makes sense to leverage similar industry standards for legal.
You can read the full article here on Legaltech News.