Sunday, March 22, 2015

The 2014-15 Start Stop Survey Results: The Products. Out with the Old. In With the Innovative: Lex Machina Best New Product. Fastcase/HeinOnline Best Innovation


 In December I offered readers the opportunity to respond to a survey on products and processes that they started/stopped in 2014 or planned to stop or start in 2015. This year readers were also given the chance to describe products or features they are waiting for vendors to provide.


What s the best NEW PRODUCT you became aware of in 2014?

 Responses to the question “What was the best “new product that you became aware of in 2014?"  is remarkable because of the variety of responses.The one feature that is common to many new products is that they are leveraging big data to provide analytic insights.

It appears to me that the legal information market is experiencing a great reawakening. Innovators in both start up and in well established companies are recognizing the power of data to offer new insights. The competitive pressures in the legal market seeking practice efficiencies and actionable insights for business intelligence and client related matters make it ripe and receptive to these new offerings.

 Lex Machina which provides IP litigation analytics got the most votes for best new product. It was followed by PacerPro which is streamlining and eliminating some of the inefficiencies of using the official government Pacer website.

  • Lex Machina
  • PacerPro
Other new products mentioned in the survey are:

  • Westlaw Intelligence Center
  • Basecamp
  • Quatrove
  • Mlex,
  • Benchmark Judges
  • Deal Data Point
  • CaseText.
  • RavelLaw
  • West's Business Law Center
  • WestlawNext
  • FiscalNote
  • Neudesic Firm Directory
  • Investor-State Law Guide
  • PatBase Analytics
  • Bloomberg Law.
What was the BEST FEATURE/FUNCTION added to an information resource in 2014? 

The most cited “best new feature or function" added to an information resource in 2014 was the collaboration between Fastcase and Heinonline. Fastcase although not quite a start up is still a relatively young, still edgy newcomer to the legal information market. They offer low cost access to  primary law using an innovative search algorithm and offering visual displays of search results. The William S  Hein Company is a very old, family owned business with roots in serving the traditional library needs for more scholarly and esoteric research materials including law reviews, treaties,. Government documents and historical treatise. But since cases and academic materials have a perfectly symbiotic relationship, one feeds off  and informs the other, Hein and Fastcase deliver a low cost suite of core research materials. 

The second most cited product feature was Westlaw Next’s simplified pricing. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. This was the topic of the blogpost/diatribe against the complexities of online research pricing which I raised in “ The Myth and the Madness of Cost Effective Lexis and Westlaw Research Training” which put  “ Dewey B Strategic" on the map.

The best innovations or new features are:
  • Fastcase/HeinOnline collaboration
  • Predictable pricing in Westlaw Next
Additional product enhancements cited:

  • Intelligence Center Upgrade to Westlaw Monitor Suite.
  • Favorites in Lexis Advance
  • The enhancements made to Lexis Advance.   It is now easier to find the databases and content you need.
  • New Lexis Advance platform - cleaner and with requested enhancements
  • Docket Navigator's analytics
  • Wolters Kluwer Intelliconnect’s browser search feature.
  • Ability to create custom pages in WestlawNEXT
  • Collaboration/personal saved documents space in WestlawNext Canada
Features cited without mentioning a specific product:

  • Seemless collaboration and email tracking with tagging feature
  • Data analysis tools becoming more widely available on more litigation support review platforms and review tools
  • Increasingly prevalence of dashboards.
Name the New Products which you plan to rollout 2015 

  • Lex Machina
  • Room reservation system
  • Quatrove
  • Automated Reviews, Learning Management System
  • Lexis ebooks via Overdrive
  • Darts-IP
  • Lexis Practice Adviser
  • Considering moving to a cloud storage product for our DMS
  • Password management software
  • Firm directory/experience database.
  • Electronic resource management software (e.g., OneLog, Research Monitor, etc.)
  • Aggregator (Convergence) to automate CI/current awareness efforts
  • Research Monitor and Research Hub (for mobile)
  • Custom workflows within our Relativity environment.
  • West KM as a federated/enterprise KM tool.

 What PRODUCT did your department/organization STOP using in 2014?

There was no real trend here. There is no one product that a lot of firms are dropping; The only thread I see connecting the various responses is that they are for the most part products which have been around a long time and which support  core research activities. Two are directories (Lawyers Manual and Marindale) which are clearly marginalized by web based resources.  But generally it looks like a list of products that were probably cancelled to cut the budget or in favor of a competitor. There is nothing on the list which suggests a new and innovative product was tested and found to be not worth the cost or not up to the hype. 

  • Lexis
  • BNA stand alone databases
  • File&ServeXpress
  • Lawyers Diary and Manual
  • Westlaw
  • RBSource
  • Intelliconnect Tax Library
  • Martindale
  • Equilar
  • West LegalEd Center
  • Infomart News
  • Windows XP
  • Deal Proof
  • Westlaw Business
  • 10K Wizard
  • Concordance
  • Loislaw
  • Ozmosys 

Name any PRODUCTS you PERSONALLY STARTED using in 2014 

These responses also covered a wide range of products. The majority of these products focus on process improvement rather than research. There was also an interesting mix of products that were more likely for personal use. These are listed separately below.

  • Lex Machina 
  • Practical Law
  • Lync for video  meetings
  • Bloomberg law
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Camtasia web recording software for short tutorials on library resources
  • WLN - benchmark reports
  • SimpleMind (process mapping tool)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Eagle Eye
  • Intelligize   
  • Litigation Monitor
  • Manzama
  • PTAB Trials

Products For Personal Use
  • Fitbit
  •  Fage yogourt.  I'm not joking
  • Giving up hotels in favor of Airbnb
  • Giving up taxis in favor of Uber and Lyft
  • Giving up GPS device in favor of Wayze apps
  • I got my first iphone and I really like watching HBOGO on it
  • I started reading print books instead of reading books on my Kindle
  • Pay by Phone traffic meter app
  • iPad Air
  • Carbonite - online backup

Listen Up Vendors. Product ideas. Describe a PRODUCT/SERVICE you would like to see developed, which doesn't currently exist. Here are the recommendations:

  • I want a universal thumbprint or iris reader to get me into all of my work and personal applications. I use the available technology but it is just not good enough. I still spend way too much time recovering and resetting passwords.
  • Cataloging records for individual products in Bloomberg
  • Auto-Meta tagging system to mark items for practice groups or legal issues.
  • A product that will give you a comprehensive Reverse Whois report. We use Domain Tools but it doesn't compile the data in a report. Mark Monitor isn't as complete.
  • Is like a one-stop-shop for our group to organize requests and be able to see who is doing what. Being able to EASILY bill time would be great.
  • A search service that is publisher agnostic, allowing searches of materials from many publishers using a single search technique.
  • CaseText should adds second half to cover EDGAR.
  • Reincarnation of defunct ITC Research database
  • Vendor neutral all-inclusive news database
  • A competitor to Platt's newsletters
  • A service that would give a comprehensive comparison of periodical/news content/coverage from Lexis, Westlaw and EBSCO.
  • Graphics embedded in periodical literature from Lexis and Westlaw
  • Legal ebooks on a single universal platform for multiple users
  • Attorney-oriented reviews of KM technology that compare features of certain products systematically. For example, point-by-point on Recommind vs. FAST vs. HP Autonomy
  • An OverDrive-like service for private libraries with the option to manage and serve the library's own digital content.
  • Real time-searching of docket documents; not docket entries.
  • An ediscovery project management tool. More true practice support applications.
  • More IP authenticated searches available on WestlawNext-Links from WestKM documents without login.
  • A database that allows a search by party name across all federal and administrative patent proceedings, that can then be loaded into Excel.
Thanks to everyone who responded. As much as I try to stay aware of new products, my colleagues have once again shared insights, experience and recommendations about products which  which had  flown under my radar or not registered as products warranting a serious look or critical reassessment.

Part 1 of the survey results were published on March 20th: The Start Stop Poll Results 2014-2015 Processes and Initiatives: Workflow Improvement In, Print Continues Its Freefall.

The original survey was posted on December 15, 2014.

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