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Predictive Software for General Counsels

The $390M acquisition of RelateIQ has provoked some interesting commentary about making data useful.

The legal industry has historically been a late adopter of technology. A large part of a lawyer's job is to protect clients from risk. But, the legal world is rapidly catching up. Today, law firms risk being left behind by their peers and clients if they aren't able to take advantage of the data available to them.

In the legal world, "predictive coding" has in-house attorneys excited at the prospect of quantifying risk earlier in the lifecycle of a case. But the opportunities to capitalize on predictive analytics don't stop there.

Many companies promise prediction and learning, but few truly deliver it.

Vik Sign, CEO of marketing analytics company Infer, wrote a blog post declaring "Predictive is here" and more recently about the move to Predictive First. Tomas Tunguz, partner at Redpoint Ventures, says, "prediction provides competitive differentiation in an increasingly competitive market."

Tomas proposes three keys to success for businesses offering prediction:

  1. Actually deliver on your promises. Many companies promise prediction and learning, but few truly deliver it.
  2. SaaS companies should focus on customers that generate large amounts of data. 
  3. The company has to create a machine learning team.

Check. Check. Check.

Predictive software should provide outcomes, not just reports.

Predictive analytics white papers from legal vendors are pretty easy to come by. Most aren't worth the paper their written on. Here's a hint: If you're not able to optimize for Type 1 and Type 2 error rates, you're not delivering on your promises. At SimpleLegal, our machine learning team measures what went right, what went wrong, and which types of errors are acceptable at what levels.

If software is able to truly predict results with proven and measurable accuracy, then it should be able to take action. Predictive software should provide outcomes, not just reports.

"Predictive" means a lot more than just a "flag" on copy charges. At SimpleLegal, our algorithms can automatically flag or adjust line items for all guideline violations (not just copy charges), correctly choose Cost Codes for accounting, and fix matter codes selected by outside attorneys.

It's an exciting time in legal-tech. We're way beyond Copy Charges.

Author:
Founder & CEO

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