Peer to Peer: ILTA's Quarterly Magazine

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2 P E E R T O P E E R : I L T A ' S Q U A R T E R L Y M A G A Z I N E | F A L L 2 0 2 0 F R O M T H E C E O A s you read this, we are heading into the final quarter of 2020. What a year it has been! A year of challenges presented and met. A year of change that is truly global in scale. And a year of opportunities to identify and seize. And how, do you ask, does this all connect with data science and data analytics, the theme of this issue of Peer to Peer? Perhaps more than you think. Data science is a growing field in the practice of law. But what is it at its core? Stanford's Data Science Institute defines data science as "learning from data." In the world of business, data science is extended to learning from the data that will drive the business forward. Identifying, concatenating, and reporting on the data that is most important for business decisions. Simply said, data science is turning data into actionable information. At time of stress and crisis, learning from data and the information gleaned from high-quality data is perhaps more important than at any other time. We are all under stress, period. Work life has changed, home life has changed, every aspect of life has changed. We are commuting less but juggling more. Stress can and will color and impact the decision-making process for even the most experienced and dispassionate of decision-makers. And this is where data comes in. Data can create objectivity when emotions are high. In 2020, the pace of change has also been unprecedented (at least in my 40 years of working). Decision makers are both reacting to the present and striving to plan for the future. When time frames are compressed, it is human and natural to follow your instincts. That can feel like the shortest path to a decision. It is often said that each person is entitled to an opinion, but not to one's own set of facts. Good data contributes to a common understanding of facts. That common understanding of facts is critical for reaching good decisions and driving organization consensus. Data that is adequately cleansed, properly validated, and appropriately reported can bring order and objectivity to a decision making process made chaotic by personal stress and rapid change. I salute all of our data scientists, data analysts, and other data geeks through the ILTA community, and I look forward to seeing how this rapidly evolving field makes positive contributions to the management of technology and the practice of law. Believe it or not, when we next meet on these pages, we will be looking at 2020 in the rear view mirror, reflecting on what we have learned and eagerly anticipating what is ahead of us in 2021. Until then, stay safe and well! Virtual hugs to all, ILTA Joy Heath Rush joy@iltanet.org T H E R E ' S M O R E O N L I N E ! For more great insight on ILTA's CEO, listen along online as she sits down for another CEO podcast! listen here ยป Q&A

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