An Infographic… On Infographics!

via Gillian Neer:

“How do you make an infographic, anyway?”

Welcome to the age of the infographic. Rapidly improving technology has encouraged internal and external communications of an organization to move at lightning speed. Meanwhile, the professional attention span is shortening as communication gets faster, increasing the need for concise and quickly-digestible information. Infographics efficiently communicate complex information in a precise and visually pleasing way, and are therefore gaining traction in all departments in an organization — no longer limited to Marketing. Very soon, all research teams will be expected to know how to create and distribute these data graphics. Learn about the elements and details of an infographic… with this neat infographic.

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Dug This Up… Thoughts On Corporate Crime

‘Corporate bodies cannot commit crime, only individuals can be criminal, and the law should be framed accordingly.’ Discuss.

The nature of corporate crime is one that has skulked in the shadows of its mainstream, more conventional sister crimes for years – public awareness of white collar crime has certainly increased recently, but there still lingers a vague mystery that surrounds corporate criminal action. In fact, defined by its sophisticated planning and execution, corporate crime often skirts around the legal boundaries and regulations set forth to prevent crime in the first place. Yet perhaps the most intriguing aspect of corporate crime is the balance of its interpretation of an individual’s role within a larger corporate body: whether or not an individual chooses to make conscious decisions within a company, or if he is subject to a higher authority; what if that individual is the higher authority? Still, even with the complex roles that the individual member plays within the system, the corporate body as its own entity functions as a powerful, intelligent force – one that the legal and social systems of society must reckon with in their continuously evolving pursuit of justice… Keep Reading.

Librarians: The First Data Scientists

Data is big – and it’s getting even bigger. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillian bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. As this data overload shows no signs of slowing, organizations have begun to realize that establishing a competitive edge requires a strong ability to identify and analyze relevant data – and quickly. Strategic data analysis, in turn, leads to business intelligent metrics, which can help drive successful client management and improve business performance.

The business climate has already begun mining for the most capable tools and resources to utilize the opportunities that big data presents. Anjul Bhambhri – IBM’s Vice President of Big Data Projects – suggests that when “Looking for Data Scientists from Within – Start with Marketing”:

A logical first place to focus is the marketing department. CMOs and marketing professionals possess the right combination of analytical minds that are used to crunch data on consumer trends, demographics, and sales ROI. They also have the business understanding of the domain that they are analyzing, and can move beyond the numbers to help the business as a whole.

Bhambhri has a point: marketing departments are greatly valued for their ability to analyze and present findings quickly, accurately, and graphically. But there is another department in an organization that has specialized in exactly this type of data mining for years… what about the Librarians and Research Services staff?

A firm’s library and research services department is filled with professionals who are detailed-oriented, trained in research, and highly skilled in analyzing data. Law librarians are knowledge managers, dedicated to compiling and distributing valuable information within an organization, and are constantly creating in-house documents and reports. In his post, “Librarians Have Skills That Pay The Bills,” blogger Andy Burkhardt explains that:

Librarians understand information and how to organize it like few others. This skill is needed a lot of places due to the terabytes or exabytes or yottabytes…of data that is constantly being created. Librarians understand ways to get to information quickly and how to select which information is important. Librarians understand indexing, search, or semantic data.

Librarians and research services staff were the first data specialists, trained to locate, compile, analyze, and summarize large volumes of data. Any organization would do well to harness the brain power and honed skills of a library and research services team. Companies should take care to explore all of their options when searching for data specialists; utilizing the robust capabilities of a Library & Research Services department may just be the competitive edge everyone is looking for.

Intuitive Comprehension

via Gillian Neer:

“In God we trust; all others bring data.”

The technological revolution of the late 21st century has inundated our lives with data. In turn, our lives–and the businesses we interact with–have become increasingly preoccupied with “Big Data”: its implications, uses, and how on Earth it can be tamed.

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“I’ll Know It When I See It”

via Gillian Neer:

Humans have an incredible capacity for intuitive learning, calculation and reaction – especially when faced with visual or physical stimuli. To this end, we see a boom in data-visualization innovations geared towards providing low-on-time executives with the information that they need quickly, concisely, and platforms that are easy to communicate and digest.

Leveraging Market Insight

Law firms are ancient champions of client relationship management, and are now finding opportunities to leverage marketing technology to enhance that relationship management. Proskauer Rose LLP is an example of a law firm that has done just that, using its newly launched Intranet to drive client relationship expansion and service initiatives. Proskauer’s Intranet includes pages for its top 150 clients, as well as in-depth portals and daily e-briefings for its client relationship expansion targets, magnet practice areas, and core industry sectors. Content management is combined for both the Intranet and the firm’s public site, and the Intranet features a post of the firm’s new clients in the past five days for easy reference.

Intranets provide value in their ability to improve information sharing and collaboration. Still, if the full benefits of corporate Intranets are to be realized, legal CIOs and CMOs must emphasize a close working relationship between marketing and technology. The technology of Intranets and the valuable information that is shared through an Intranet should be exploited in marketing efforts. See (Chief Architect at Hubbard One) Shawn Samuel’s Top Five Tips for Harnessing Marketing Technology:

  1. Provide teams with metrics on your e-marketing activities. Nothing drives adoption like measurable signs of success.
  2. Keep track of your attorneys’ Twitter followers, clients and prospective clients. Cross-reference them with ERM to find and leverage firm relationships to those individuals.
  3. Encourage the use of LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Use them to promote events and drive traffic to blogs and corporate websites.
  4. Get attorneys to tweet about new blog posts on Twitter. This can drive traffic to your site and help to promote podcasts, videos, events, webinars and groups.
  5. Don’t ignore the power of newsletters, print and “old media.” Aim for two-way traffic between old and new. Remember: social media power users “re-tweet” blog links and make news go viral.

Also, be sure to listen to Mr. Samuel’s podcast in which he discusses top trends in marketing technologies.

The Social Intelligence of Social Media

There is no denying it these days: social media is popular. The topic is hot, it encourages communication, and provides exposure to anyone and everyone who can tweet and update a Facebook status. There is also no denying that the “social media trend” is not one to be taken lightly: a recent IBM study concluded that the next five years would see 57% of all CEOs using social media [infographic], and that –

“As CEOs ratchet up the level of openness within their organizations, they are developing collaborative environments where employees are encouraged to speak up, exercise personal initiative, connect with fellow collaborators, and innovate.”

Mark Fidelman’s summary of the IBM report in his Forbes column addresses how CEOs are now realizing that using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile.” Furthermore, the demand for personal communication is growing within every firm as partners and employees seek to build trust and align around organizational strategy – “if CEOs continue to hide in their Ivory Towers under the guise of some old command and control mentality, the next chapter in their career might be written somewhere else.”

Law firms know they have to evolve and adapt to this new atmosphere in order to be competitive – and taking the first step and creating free social media accounts is not difficult. What distinguishes an intelligent and profitable social media strategy, however, is one that understands what its audience wants to hear and leverages that interest to achieve a higher likelihood of success. At this year’s Ark Group Business Intelligence conference, speakers Hans Haglund of Patton Boggs LLP, Kathryn Trotter of Latham Watkins, and Peter Ozolin of Manzama discussed the details of leveraging trend analysis platforms to create analytics. Measuring frequency of mentions in Twitter, for example, in conjunction with other parameters given to key words and content sources, creates analytics around how often a firm or client is discussed in conjunction with a certain legal issue, practice or regulatory act. Given this sort of intelligence, one can then normalize discussion over a certain timeframe and ascertain momentum across any set of content sources (blogs, news sites, Twitter, etc) – increasing the probability that the team (and firm) are engaging clients and prospects in a manner that matters most to them.

Social media has evolved from a simple extracurricular tool to become a strategic tool in facilitating communication. What the legal world should take care to do is keep in mind the important of social intelligence. The value of social media lies not only in its ease of use and transparency, but also in its ability to be used as an efficient tool of targeted, trustworthy, and informative communication.