For many years KCIC has preached the importance of impeccable data management. This along with our company philosophy of having all users, sources and uses of data in one place is why we developed the Ligado Platform, the most technologically advanced model in the industry, which allows us to provide that functionality to our clients. Simply put, when you understand your data, you can make better decisions. I have spent my career in data analysis and management, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that I am passionate about the subject.
It was therefore a pleasant surprise that a strong theme this year at the Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference in San Francisco was the importance of using data to help move the asbestos litigation toward better resolutions for all parties involved.
Going back some years, much of the general attitude toward the asbestos litigation was that the outcomes are predetermined; plaintiffs know what settlement values should be and defendants know what they have paid historically. It seemed there was a prevailing attitude that most defendants and insurers did not think there was much to gain from analyzing data. In any case, frequently their data was not in a format that allowed them to be able to do so in a meaningful way. Many times, different parties have different approaches to organizing and accessing this data which can also lead to a lack of available information for analyzing. Things can get complicated quickly with data spread across multiple databases, spreadsheets, documents, and stakeholders.
At the Perrin Conference, there were a number of influential people from the defense and insurance sides discussing the benefit of using data to make better decisions, discussing the basic matter of consistent capture and formatting of the data through using that data in analysis. This was especially exciting to me because I cannot emphasize enough the importance of tracking data well from so many experiences of dealing with the opposite.
Many times, when data and information have not been well maintained, defendants find themselves in catch-up mode, having to recreate historical data sets. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it seems. In the context of asbestos litigation that may have been going on for years, or decades, the reconstruction of a complete claims database and insurance program may require the collection and normalization of data from multiple sources, including loss runs, claim files, defense counsel records and internal systems, sometimes in electronic form and sometimes in dusty documents. While this recreation is possible, it is not a simple task. In monetary terms, it is much more costly (and time consuming) to reconcile and recreate a data set after the fact, than to practice proper data compilation and maintenance in real time.
Kudos to Lynnsey Perrin and many of the presenters for bringing this important subject into focus. I’m delighted that I will be bringing my own perspective on the subject to a breakout session at the DRI conference in November where Richard Janisch and I will be discussing not only data collection and security but also ways that we can learn from the data. I hope to see you there!
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Carrie Scott is KCIC’s technology lead, both in operations/infrastructure and for development. “I work with a talented group of people to make sure our technology stays innovative and top of the line to support our client’s needs,” she says. “I also focus on the Consulting side of our practice, leading many clients through their day-to-day and long-term strategic goals.”Learn More About Carrie