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Legal work requires being able to identify and recognize patterns in patterns in information – or data – quickly and efficiently. For some, the term data visualization may be a foreign concept, yet is vastly important to others, but what exactly is it? Data visualization is basically the visual representation of data. According to this Blue Hill Research report, “Analytics and Data Visualization in the Legal Market,” this practice’s popularity is continuing to grow, and plays a pivotal role in today’s legal industry, allowing those who practice law to gain a better understanding of relationships between datasets. In fact, the ability to see data visually may give users the opportunity of identifying unnoticed relationships between these data sets.
The below examples present two sets of data:
The graph allows visual learners a better opportunity to identify any relationship faster and easier. While this example deals with a tiny sample size, this practice is seen as even more beneficial when you take into account the increase in the volume of data available in today’s digital society. In fact, it has been reported that humans create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day and the growth of stored data is outpacing the ability to manage it, resulting in a desire for a place to easily find, understand, analyze and act upon the information—all while avoiding added costs. (This is according to this LexisNexis article, Three Emerging Trends That Will Define Legal Research).
While data visualization doesn’t replace the research process, the ability to quickly identify which research paths to take will potentially provide time savings to the user. Time that can be applied to crafting arguments and adding additional value to the litigation process.
As datasets continue to grow in size and type, it is important to have a variety of tools that allow the user to manipulate and visualize the data. While the practitioner will still have to apply his or her judgment to the matter and confirm the accuracy of the information, these tools enhance the practitioner’s other legal skills.
Download the Blue Hill Research report, “Analytics and Data Visualization in the Legal Market”
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