Artificial intelligence has come a long way since its early days, when public exposure was limited to Hollywood end-of-days scenarios and real-life applications were obscure and intimidating — even to those willing to dabble in emerging technologies. Now, as firms increasingly understand the potential benefits of AI, they’re not only willing to try it, but eager to implement it.
While AI has become prominent in the legal tech arena in recent years, it’s important to remember that AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution. When you decide to build an AI program, it’s crucial to start with the right foundation. To get the most out of your AI program, that foundation is a powerful data hub.
The Importance of Data
Artificial intelligence is a data-driven technology. That means your AI program will only be as good as the data you have to work with. As the practice of law has become increasingly digital, most firms are finding themselves in possession of huge volumes of data. The big struggle has been figuring out how to best manage it all.
AI tools are designed to work best when they have a rich field of data to exploit. What that means for your firm is that, if you want your AI program to be successful, you need to have your data collected and organized in a way that allows your AI solutions to function at peak levels. Put another way, if your data is useless or disorganized, even the most sophisticated AI technologies won’t produce the results you’re seeking.
The Data Hub
To function at optimal levels, AI programs need more than just large amounts of data. They also need high-quality data. The typical law firm has its vast universe of data spread out across multiple systems, programs and applications. The obvious problem with this scattered approach is not just that data can be difficult to find when you need it, but it can also be nearly impossible for any given system to access all the information it may need to produce the best results.
This is where the data hub comes in: To lay a proper foundation for your AI programs, you first need to extract all your data from the various places it is currently sitting and combine it into a single, centralized hub. Once you’ve compiled your data, all of your various AI applications can access a single repository. You will then be able to glean insights and produce results from your entire data universe, not just part of it.
The data hub isn’t limited to just your internal data. It should also house any important external data you’ve amassed, such as intelligence on market trends, data from legal public sources like courts and patent offices, and so on. When you have an organized, centralized data hub, you’re able to perform more accurate analysis to better serve your clients and build your business. When your AI tools can access all available internal and external data, you’ll be in the best position to serve your current clients, identify potential new clients, boost your profits and maintain a competitive edge.
A Holistic Approach to Data and AI
Most firms have curated a collection of software programs and applications to perform the various aspects of their day-to-day work. Traditionally, because they’re stand-alone products, each of these applications has been incapable of speaking to the others or accessing the information stored in other applications.
Just as compiling your data in a centralized hub makes all data available to all applications, the data hub also allows your siloed applications to speak to one another and work in sync.
And, because the central repository gives all programs equal access to the same data and information, you can now be sure that previously disconnected tools are functioning as an integrated unit, basing their outputs on the same information. That means that even if your applications aren’t directly integrated, they’re functionally synced by virtue of operating off the same data hub.
Your data hub creates a foundation for viewing and analyzing your firm’s universe of data in a holistic way. Once you can assess your data as a whole, you’ll also be in a position to analyze your entire AI program and meaningfully evaluate whether it’s yielding useful results.
A successful AI program is one that meets your firm’s specific goals and accomplishes the tasks you need it to do. To determine its effectiveness, it’s important to establish KPIs and regularly monitor them. When you have all your tools working in sync through a centralized data hub, it’s easier to obtain meaningful information with your analytics. With better and more accurate information comes a more successful AI program.
With the right strategy for managing your data, AI is your ticket to making the most of your technology to better serve your clients and run a competitive, profitable firm.
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