Startup Corner: Nalanda enters the unstructured data search space

Nalanda Technology has launched a software-as-a-service search tool capable of searching unstructured data from any device and won Gosschalks Solicitors as a client.

Founded in 2013, Nalanda recently unveiled its platform-agnostic ‘Nalytics’ solution, which can be used for contract review, investigations or in eDiscovery.

Nalytics can search through documents, spreadsheets, emails, web pages, images, text files, XML and database records, Dropbox data, and social media posts for requested terms. Nalanda has also launched a searchable data preserve solution.

Co-founder  and chief operating officer David Rivett told Legal IT Insider: “The heart of what we do is deconstruct the textual content. There is an inherent structure in any data and because we identify its genealogy, or digital DNA, we can search for words and find things very quickly. A typical search engine finds documents and you then have to look again. The way we do indexing, we get a very granular search.”

Nalanda was spun out of OLM Group, which provides technology solutions to the care sector and has itself has used Nalytics for contract review. Rivett, who founded Nalanda alongside CEO Peter O’Hara and CTO Tim Barrett,  said: “OLM has a massive organisational memory but unless you’ve got people who can put their hands on a shared drive that information is now lost, so we’ve been able to look for contract terms.”

External clients so far include Gosschalks and Buzzfeed UK, which has used the technology in its investigative journalism.

When Gosschalks moved to a new case management system, it was faced with retiring or preserving the legacy system. Rivett said: “I’ve been involved in many migrations and one of the hardest things is that the customer wants to keep all historical data and new system won’t accept it in its current format – it’s a major risk.

“I’ve always said what would work best is if you could leave the data in the format it is, move what you need to move and preserve the rest. Now we’ve created Preserve to do just that. Lawyers can access those documents at will and analyse the trend across those cases in a super searchable way. It gives them power from that electronic filing case. Rather than move all the data and gum up the new system, you only bring the data that you need.”

Steve Savage, development director at Gosschalks Solicitors said at the time Nalytics was launched: “The Nalytics solution delivers a really neat and intuitive solution to our legacy document needs.  It provides us with an easy to use, fast and effective way to search, discover and access all our legacy documents utilising the rich metadata we have built up over the years – everything our users told us they needed.  Not only that, but is has enabled us to make significant savings around infrastructure and data management overheads.”

Nalanda has been speaking to a number of legal advisers and Rivett said: “If you’re moving to Office 365, that doesn’t make your data more searchable. You’re just moving files from the corner of the office into the cloud but you still can’t find anything and you’ve moved one cost to another.

“Right now Amazon and Azure are being very competitive but I expect the costs will go up and you’ll need to work out what goes up there and that means searching and discovering what you’ve got.”

He added: “Because we’re software-as-a-service you can be up and running in 10 minutes. We’re disruptive because we’re not a big enterprise solution. You’re spending 20% of your time hunting for information and that needs to be more efficient but a big system isn’t necessarily the answer.”