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Taming the Data Beast in Litigation with Visualization

The key to success in data-heavy litigation is developing a method to show the data in a way that effectively tells your story, ideally in a format that is interactive so the attorney can pick and choose which data they want to access and show at any particular time with any particular witness. At Cogent Legal, making large data sets accessible and understandable is one of the most challenging aspects of what we do, and the most satisfying. In today's post, I'll review a recent case in which we faced this challenge and created an interactive interface for a large set of data about employee locations throughout a day.

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 11.19.03 AM-01Every day the world produces more and more data about everything. Our cars all have black boxes (whether we know it or not) that monitor key information. Our phones keep track of our locations and that data can be retrieved to show our precise movement during the day. Computer IP addresses and browser histories leave traces of our movements across the web.

All this data is increasingly finding its way into the courtroom in all different kinds of cases. While the data itself is as varied as the world from which it comes, the challenge for attorneys is precisely the same in most every case:  What am I supposed to do with all this information?

We, and correspondingly our cases, are drowning in data that must be considered, categorized and potentially explained to a jury in a straightforward yet engaging manner. Standing in front of a jury with reams of printed-out pages, or trying to cross examine a witness with pages and pages of data, is a recipe for boredom or confusion. The key to success in data-heavy litigation is developing a method to show this data in a way that effectively tells your story, ideally in a format that is interactive so the attorney can pick and choose which data they want to access and show at any particular time with any particular witness.

At Cogent Legal, making large data sets accessible and understandable is one of the most challenging aspects of what we do, and the most satisfying. In today’s post, I’ll review a recent case in which we faced this challenge and created an interactive interface for a large set of data about employee locations throughout a day.   (more…)

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