James Mullan Data, Data, Everywhere - FreePint for Legal Information Professionals
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By James Mullan

Abstract

Law firms and legal establishments both within the corporate sector and outside of it have vast requirements for information. Information or knowledge is what most law firms sell, so how they create and manage it can be a key element in how successful they are as a company. There are some significant challenges that law firms face in managing this knowledge. In this article James Mullan looks at some of the challenges and opportunities for legal information professionals and how FreePint resources can help.

Item

The proliferation of ever-growing quantities of information, and the emerging technologies that have become available to exploit opportunities provided by this data mean that legal information professionals have a unique opportunity to provide even more value to the organisation they work for.

However, understanding the best approach to managing and working with this information can be challenging. FreePint can help legal information professionals by providing insights into the ways that other organisations and experts manage this data and new technologies.

Whilst there are many useful articles available, the following are resources that will be of interest to legal information managers:

Articles

Topic Series

Managing and Working With Big Data

Big data is a topic that many legal information managers are just beginning to get a handle on. If you're just starting to look at how your organisation can work with big data then last year's FreePint Topic Series: Big Data in Action included a wealth of information and inspiration on this area.

The articles within this series looked at a number of different themes in relation to big data but if you're just starting out, then one of the best articles you can read on big data is Victor Camlek's article called "Understanding Big Data".

Victor follows this article up with an article that looks at the key elements of big data - "The Four Vs".

Of course the big question is: how can information professionals within the legal sector get involved with big data? The FreePint articles "Big Data... and the Information Professional" and "Big Data and the Enterprise Information Professional" both look at opportunities available for information professionals across all sectors.

Taking on the Social Enterprise

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to work with Shimrit Janes on the FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise.

There are many articles within this series that will be of interest to information managers working within a legal setting. However, in my mind the most relevant are those that look at the impact of technology and, in particular, SharePoint.

There are two articles in this series which look closely at SharePoint, they are "SharePoint 2013 - Using Social Features Effectively" by Sarah Dillingham and my article "Is There Really an Alternative to SharePoint?" which looks at some of the alternatives to what is becoming an almost-ubiquitous tool within many legal establishments.

The development of social tools within law firms is certainly a challenging prospect; fortunately many of the articles in this series provide insights on how to approach this challenge.

Intranets Still Have Their Place

One of the responsibilities many legal information professionals have is to manage or contribute to is their organisation's intranet.

Much has been written about intranets and how they could potentially develop in line within the introduction of social tools. I have no doubt that social tools have and will continue to impact on the way that intranets function, they are still an essential tool in providing information to users and sharing knowledge. I discuss how important they are in "Intranets - Helping You Make Decisions Faster".

If you're already managing an intranet, then there are a host of FreePint articles available which will help you make the most of this important tool.

These include "Piloting SharePoint 2013 at the UK's National Audit Office" which looks at how they NAO is encouraging adoption of this tool and "Are Intranets at Death's Door? How to Improve Your Intranet". Ultimately intranets are an essential resource which need to be carefully managed to ensure success.

Editor's Note

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