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Data cleaning considerations for legal departments

Clean data remains a necessity for sustainable change

As chief legal officers (CLOs) advance their departments, they often have to rely on “dirty” data—data that isn’t accurate, readily available, or well-understood—during the process. And it may prevent them from implementing sustainable change. Prepare your legal team for success with four data-cleaning takeaways and other insights.

Four steps to keeping data clean

Once data cleanup priorities are set and ownership roles are assigned, here’s what it takes to get data clean enough to enable sustainable change in legal departments. 

  1. Define data standards. Different legal teams may have different application requirements—think searchable contracts, e-signatures, metadata, artificial intelligence (AI)-based contract creation, and more. Common data management standards are helpful in most organizations to enable the enterprise data required for these applications to be easily deployed to legal. So keep an eye on the enterprise data dictionary, and know what your own requirements are so you can agree on the data taxonomy, data model, and other standards with a clear objective in mind. 
  2. Identify your tools. Understanding the technologies on the market can help you determine how your existing data can be cleaned and integrated with future data. That includes using the defined standards, correcting metadata, removing duplications, discarding stale data, and managing data variances.
  3. Create a repository strategy. If there are multiple systems, see if you can arrange for data to flow from one system to the other (via application programming interfaces, for example). Simplification, cost to value, time to value, and definition are likely key here. The aim is to reduce the manual intervention needed to produce a report. 
  4. Create a data curation strategy. The idea here is to simplify data entry (minimize input points), reduce the cost of data quality, and apply data cleanup practices (including AI and advanced analytics as a curation tool).
For additional insights on data cleaning

Get in touch

Lori Lorenzo
Chief Legal Officer Program Research and Insights Director
Managing Director | Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

Mani Agarwal
Senior Vice President | Legal Business Services
Deloitte Tax Services India Private Limited

Jack Walker
Principal | Regulatory & Legal Support | Discovery & Data Management
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

Bob Taylor
Managing Director | Legal Business Services
Deloitte Tax LLP

Erin Hess
Chief Legal Officer Program Research and Insights Manager
Manager | Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

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