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For law departments, does “data mining” mean anything other than analyzing data?

Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15, Feb. 2007 at 28, includes an interview of Mark Holton, the general counsel of RJ Reynolds. Holton uses the chic term “data mining” repeatedly and uses it interchangeably with “data analysis” to describe what his department does with the e-billing data it amasses. He doesn’t mention a matter management system, per se, but he makes much of the value of digging into the invoice data, thinking about what it means, communicating those conclusions to inside and outside lawyers, and reporting on it.

Old wine in new jugs, to me, but whatever the term – the trendy “data mining,” or the traditional “analysis of data,” “process re-engineering” (See my post of Jan. 25, 2007 about all processes produce data for mining; and July 21, 2005 about a consortium to share legal data for mining.), or “business intelligence” (See my post of March 23, 2006 on this marketing term that has many definitions.) – the goal is the same: learn something useful from the bills of outside counsel and act on that knowledge.

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One response to “For law departments, does “data mining” mean anything other than analyzing data?”

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