FTI Consulting is producing some interesting articles in conjunction with Corporate Disputes Magazine. A recent one is called Building a global information governance initiative and discovery programme – predictive analytics. Its contributors are Glenn Barden and Sonia Cheng of FTI Consulting and Patrick Oot of Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP, all names well-known to those who follow this subject.
The interesting thing about this article is that despite its title’s emphasis on the role of technology – the “predictive analytics” reference – almost everything in the article is about the role of people – the people with the relevant skills and the people who make the corporate decisions.
Glenn Barden opens, for example, by observing that there is too much data to review manually and says:
The use of statistical modelling maximises the value of the data that is already available – meaning that the experts are able to spend more time deriving insights, rather than locating the patterns.
So – the technology does the tiresome stuff and humans can spend more time drawing conclusions from the resulting information.
Patrick Oot talks of developing centres of excellence in discovery and IG with “the right internal people who have cross-functional technical and legal training”, and mentions litigation, compliance, data security, records and information management, and data privacy. The technology tools help identify relevant information, but it is people who must “explain the findings to a non-technical or non-legal audience”, both internally and, perhaps, to a judge.
The broad picture which emerges from the article is that the risks which organisations must increasingly consider are those which are particularly helped by technology which is continuously (and quickly) developing to help evaluate those risks. A “blend of expertise” is needed to get the best out of that technology.
The decision-making may include ethical considerations – the more data is collected about individuals, for example, the greater the risk that personal information may be, perhaps inadvertently, used to the detriment of the data subjects. This is a good example of an aspect which requires human input and will continue to do so.