In most litigation matters requiring complex data analytics, our consultants receive vast quantities of data with little to no information regarding its contents. The volume of data alone makes a comprehensive manual review nearly impossible, especially under the tight time constraints imposed by many litigation scenarios. While data is often critical in mounting a successful legal strategy, large quantities of data without context creates an impenetrable black box, obscuring any data calculation processes.
Asking the Right Questions
Effective analytics requires a thorough understanding of the data being analyzed and can be achieved through exploratory data analysis (EDA). EDA starts by asking some basic questions of data sets to make an initial assessment of the data’s structure and quality to facilitate a plan of attack. These questions include:
- Is there an existing unique record id?
- Are fields populated with numbers, dates, or alpha-numeric characters?
- What is the distribution of numeric values?
- How many values exist for categorical fields?
- How many fields have been left blank?
- How are multiple data sets related?
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