I’m from North Carolina, and no one enjoys a colloquialism more than us Southerners. One of my favorite expressions is “You get out what you put in.”
I say it often, mostly whenever a client brings up anything data related. Data and analytics are daily conversation topics at Neota, where I work with legal teams to automate all types of data-driven processes.
Here’s what I’ve learned about leveraging data as a pre-sales engineer working in Legal Tech.
- Everything is data, and it’s everywhere.
Unstructured data is extremely valuable, like what you may find in a hand-written note or mine from a phone call. It’s just not ideal for traditional quantitative analysis because a human or a highly advanced AI has to process the data before you can analyze it. So, what happens? People manually extract information from unstructured data sources and input it into a spreadsheet.
Thankfully, no-code platforms offer a different approach to capturing and storing data. For example, Neota’s platform has a data manager, NDM. A data manager allows you to perform complex data queries, share information between Neota applications and Workflows, and connect to on-site databases. NDM provides the same capabilities and benefits (speed, complexity, flexibility) as SQL, the standard programming language used for database management. However, you don’t have to be a programmer or write custom SQL to manage your data with NDM.
- What technology you choose has a significant impact on data strategy long term.
No-code technology is not a new idea, nor is process automation or workflow management. However, you are more likely now to have multiple no-code or low-code options when shopping for technology. According to Forbes, in 2021, Gartner projected a 23% increase for the global market in tools like Neota.
Calling a piece of tech “no-code” typically means that users rely on visual development tools – logic maps, decision trees, BPMN-style workflows, etc. to create bespoke digital solutions. The immediate impact of no-code on your data strategy is pretty straightforward. When you equip business users with the tools to develop problem-solving applications – they digitize more processes, making more data accessible to stakeholders.
I encourage Neota clients to speak with process stakeholders about their data analysis and reporting needs early in development. Questions like, “What reports do you run currently, how frequently, and in what format?” are essential to ask before developing a solution, rather than after the fact.
The biggest takeaway is that for an enterprise data strategy to be successful, people and applications need the ability to access and share data easily.
- Integration is no longer optional – it’s essential.
Harvard Business Review writes, “…systems integration and data management are critical for creating compelling customer and employee experiences.”
API (Application Programming Interface) is the most popular choice for the type of systems integration HBR referenced in their article. Rest API queries or calls are written in a common code language used by computers and software to share information. As I mentioned earlier, I speak Southern, not API. Fortunately, you don’t have to have prior programming knowledge to use Neota.
Neota’s toolbox includes a “Web Service” function. This feature makes it possible for Neota applications to communicate with each other and integrate with external systems via web service or Rest API calls that the platform writes for you. Some of the services Neota clients have already integrated include Tableau, DocuSign, HighQ, and Salesforce CRM.
As a pre-sales engineer, I advise legal teams on all things related to no-code development, from process engineering to project management. Data inevitably finds its way into every single one of these conversations. Why? Data is just “plumb” important. That’s southern slang for essential to business operations.
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