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Simply put, 'knowledge integration' is the practice of taking several 'knowledge models' and connecting the dots between them. Basically, a knowledge model, also called a knowledge representation, presents information in a way that can be utilized by a computer to solve complex problems or tasks.
Though these concepts come from the study of artificial intelligence, they can be applied to nearly every business, even the practice of law. As Thompson Reuters Practical Law explains, it's about deriving meaning from that mountain of knowledge from all this new data from all this new tech. (Disclaimer: Thomson Reuters is the parent company of FindLaw).
In these modern times, metrics matter. And with all the new tech features of the modern law practice, law firms are capturing more data than ever before. At the same time, law firms are simply not doing anything with the data being collected. Sometimes it's because the firm's management doesn't know what they're doing, after all, it's entirely possible that the management may be unaware of what data is even being collected given the complexity of the systems we're all using these days.
As such, the first step requires law firms to assess what data they actually have, and to figure out what that data means. For example, if a law firm collects data on how many new client inquiries are received via their website, that number must come with the caveat that it does not represent telephone inquiries, walk-ins, or other possible avenues.
The process of knowledge integration, following this example in the most basic sense, would combine the results of the number of new client inquiries from all sources, effectively connecting the dots so the firm management can get a clearer picture of the total number of new client inquiries (and where they came from, if relevant). The pinnacle of knowledge integration is having all the separate data collection sources upload results into a single integrated system so that big picture metrics can easily be tracked.
While there are a few different case management platform available, law firms may want to consider how well its chosen platform or system meshes with its existing systems, hardware and software, and whether the platform actually captures the data the firm needs.
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