Tagged: speaking

2014 ABA Information Governance, E-Discovery and Digital Evidence Conference

Next week don’t miss the 2014 American Bar Association Information Governance, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence National Institute at Stetson’s Tampa Law Center in Tampa, Florida, on January 28-31, 2014. I spoke at this event last year, and was supposed to speak again this year, but had a conflict so I will unfortunately not be there. Unfortunate for me, at least. The attendees will probably be fine without me.

This is an event star-studded with e-discovery and information governance luminaries and judges. It is a casual setting, with lots of opportunities to chat with real decision-makers (i.e., judges) and experts who are mapping the future of information governance. Plus, Tampa is a pretty nice place to escape to this time of year. Unless you are from Tampa, in which case, well, you get to sleep in your own bed. And don’t forget to go to Berns (take the tour, it is worth it).

Click here for more information and to register.

Live Information Governance Trends Webinar On January 23rd, 2014

Trends Driving Information Governance Strategies in 2014

In 2013, many organizations successfully launched information governance initiatives, and saw positive progress from those efforts in attaining executive sponsorship, engaging key stakeholders, and executing pilot projects. As we enter 2014, new challenges emerge as organizations look for demonstrable business value amidst unrelenting challenges of information growth, regulatory compliance complexity, and legal discovery.

Join me and Robert A. Cruz as we assess these challenges and discuss what we can expect for Information Governance in 2014. The live webinar, presented by Proofpoint, is on January 23 at 11AM PST/ 2PM EST

Register for the webinar here. 


Some brief thoughts on presentations

The Metro New York City chapter of ARMA International has a fabulous program designed to help records and information management professionals develop skills in speaking and presenting, and last night they asked me to share a few thoughts on the topic. Here is a handout that I created for my discussion.

Looking forward to seeing you at ARMA 2013

If you are at ARMA 2013 this year in Las Vegas, I’m looking forward to seeing you.  I have a lot going on, including the panel below, moderated by incoming ARMA President Julie Colgan.  See you there!

ARMA 2013 Panel with Barclay Blair

Speaking engagement: Information Governance and Big Data

I will be providing the keynote address on a half-day seminar hosted by Sita Corp, SAP, and HP at New York Athletic Club, on October 15, 2013 from 8:30-10:30 am.

I am going to be talking about the challenges of Information Governance in a Big Data world.

Register now at: http://ow.ly/po2mm

Briefing Notes: 5 Questions about Big Data for Attorneys and E-Discovery Professionals

I recently provide a briefing to a group of e-discovery professionals about Big Data and why it matters to them, and I thought there might be some value in sharing my notes.

1. What is Big Data?

  • Gartner: Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision-making.

  • McKinsey: ‘Big data’ refers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze. This definition is intentionally subjective . . .

  • It is subjective, but has definable elements

    • The data itself: large, unstructured information

    • The infrastructure: “Internet scale” in the enterprise

    • The analysis: Asking questions using very large data sets

2. Why Does Big Data Matter to E-Discovery Professionals?

  • Data scientists and technologists do not understand the risk side of information

  • You need to be at the table to educate them on:

    • The legal and business value of deleting information

    • The privacy requirements and implications

    • E-Discovery implications of too much data

  • The technologies of Big Data may process and manipulate information in a way that affects their accessibility and evidentiary value –  you need to be aware of this and guide your clients appropriately

3. Does Big Data offer value to the legal community?

  • Performing sophisticated analysis on large pools of data is not exclusive to any particular industry –  there is no reason it could not be applied to the legal community (and already is being used in some limited ways)

  • Relatively speaking, most law firms do not generate massive amounts of data in their day-to-day operations

  • In e-discovery, the technology innovations of Big Data could be helpful in very large cases to help with storage and processing tasks

4. What are some examples of Big Data in action?

  • President Obama’s data-driven election campaign.

  • An online travel company showing more expensive travel options to those who used higher-prices Macintosh computers to access their website.

  • Tracking unreported side effects of drugs using search data (Journal of American Medical Association). Also Google Flu Trends: tracking the spread of the flu using search trends.

  • NYPD Compstat.

  • Fraud Detection: Targeting $3.5 trillion in fraud from banking, healthcare utilities, and government.

  • The City of New York finding those responsible for dumping cooking oil and grease into the sewers by analysing  data from the Business Integrity Commission, a city agency that certifies that all local restaurants have a carting service to haul away their grease. With a few quick calculations, comparing restaurants that did not have a  carter with geo-spatial data on the sewers, they generate a list of statistically likely suspects to track down dumpers with a 95% success rate.

5. What professional and career opportunities does Big Data represent for e-discovery professionals?

  • Organizations need people who understand the risk side of the equation and who can provide practical guidance

  • Your clients may have Big Data projects that right now, today, are creating unmonitored, unmitigated risk; you need to be able to help them identify and manage that risk

  • Big Data focuses on unstructured information, i.e., the documents, email messages and other information that the e-discovery community knows well. These same skills and techniques can be very useful to business-led Big Data projects.

Video: Fear and Greed in Information Governance

Last week I was lucky enough to spend a day working with my friend Jay Brudz (a partner at Drinker Biddle who also runs their e-discovery sub with IG guru Bennett Borden). Whenever we had a spare moment our conversation would drift back to our favorite topic: is Information Governance about risk or value?

The correct answer, of course, is both. But not always, and not at the same time.

First of all, on a macroeconomic level, the pendulum is always swinging between fear and greed/risk and value. Sometimes organizations circle the wagons,  trim the fat, and break out a litany of clichés to cloak the fact that they are running scared. At other times, organizations light fat cigars, buy fancy umbrella holders, and spend money like the value of an American house will never decline.

So, there are macroeconomic factors that determine, generally, what motivates corporate spending and where management attention is focused.

This tension between risk and value is also driven by corporate culture. Some companies are simply more conservative than others –  even those of similar size in the same vertical –  and as such are more concerned about understanding and managing risk. Some companies build this conservatism into their marketing – especially in the financial services industry, where risk management and compliance typically has its own department (although the power of that office varies widely).

CEOs sometimes have a mandate to change existing cultures –  including attitudes towards risk – as Paul O’Neill did at Alcoa by announcing, “I intend to make Alcoa the safest company in America,” at his first investor meeting as new CEO (as detailed by Charles Duhigg in “The Power of Habit.”) Sometimes, of course, new CEOs mistake coupon-clipping clothing buyers for Apple fanboys and flame out spectacularly.

Industry vertical and market focus, however, are probably the biggest determinants.  Predictably, large, regulated companies who are frequently litigated generally spend more time and money on understanding and managing risk.

But fear only gets you so far, even in the most risk-aware organization. Fear alone will not drive employees to change their information habits. It won’t stop them from hoarding information in “their” shared drive (or shared drive in the cloud) or their email account. It will not stop them from classifying all their documents in the multi-million dollar document management system as “Misc-Other.” It will not stop them from using the cloud service recommended to them by their neighbor to share customer documents with a service provider. Fear will not change information governance behavior in a sustainable way.

So what will?

In Duhigg’s telling it wasn’t fear of safety failures that ultimately changed and sustained the safety culture at Alcoa, but rather the subsequent growth and the success of the company under O’Neill’s reign that corresponded with his focus on safety.

“I knew I had to transform Alcoa . . . but you can’t order people to change. That’s not how the brain works. So I decided I was going to start by focusing on one thing. If I could start disrupting the habits around one thing, it would spread throughout the entire company.” Paul O’Neill, as quoted by Charles Duhigg.

Driving sustainable change is about changing habits, but it is also about appealing to employee self-interest. Providing the employee with tools that help them do their job better, faster, smarter so that they can succeed and be rewarded. But also ensuring that these solutions take care of the company’s business and legal needs –  ideally in the background.

I addressed this question recently in the short video below.