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Business intelligence (BI) software compared to knowledge management (KM) software

A law department that has its matter management system produce graphics and analyses relies on what is called “business intelligence” software. “BI software extracts data from databases and turns them into human-readable reports,” according to an expert quoted in the Financial Times, Jan. 25, 2006 at S5. BI software uses features such as “data mining, alerts and pattern matching” to make sense out of structured data in databases and spreadsheets.

A law department that uses concept-searching software on its accumulated work product, to find similar agreements for example, relies on a “knowledge management” approach. KM software, as compared to BI software, has its roots in linguistic analysis and aims to help law departments share and apply tacit knowledge. KM software uses taxonomies, semantic rules, sophisticated searching, and fuzzy logic to make sense out of unstructured information such as emails, slides, and memoranda.