Start-up corner: Novela Data Solutions

In this startup corner, we bring you some brand new tech from Novela Data Solutions, which specialises in mapping services, data visualisation and geoanalytics for trial presentation and litigation research. The beta version is out this month (August 2022). Co-founders Katty Mobasher and Dax Flinn tell us all.

How would you describe Novela Data Solutions and the MapCase app to a friend?
Let me tell you about some really exciting new legal tech! Novela Data Solutions is a unique legal tech startup in that we approach projects from a spatial perspective and bring custom mapping services, 3D rendering, geo-analytics, and data visualization. Our business services are categorized into two sections – application development and consulting services –  designed to support all areas of the legal industry. We are very excited to announce that our flagship application, MapCase, will be released in August 2022 and it will be the first geographic mapping application dedicated solely to legal professionals that provides a quick, simple, and economical way to create and print maps from letter size up to poster size.  Users can easily leverage their matter information, photos, sketches etc and use them on the map. Some cool features that are rolling out this year with MapCase include a Google StreetView tool, locating contacts, calendar events, and exporting maps to a user’s powerpoint template. MapCase will first be available only to Clio users  but we have plans to extend the use to other legal management platforms in 2023.

And to a techy?
In regards to software in the legal tech space, mapping and location intelligence has little representation other than Google Maps –  yet the technology is used almost daily for eDiscovery and matter preparation and presentation. Novela Data Solutions hopes to fill the gap by offering a wide range of geographic services to legal professionals.  By using Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, we hope to become the premier provider of GIS services to the legal industry to support our clients in determining the who, what, where, and when within the various case matters.

Our GIS technology is built on the Esri ArcGIS platform which we use to build our spatial applications, geo-analytical dashboards, and maps. We have also utilized the Microsoft Azure cloud to host our application to ensure our products are scalable and secure for our clients. Our MapCase application is tightly integrated with Clio Manage and uses Typescript for the client-side with a reactive user experience and C# backend which is well suited for the Windows environment and for scalability and growth.

When were you founded?
For many years we had discussed how the legal industry could really benefit from an app dedicated to mapping and location intelligence. Then on January 1st, 2021 we made the decision to make it our New Year’s resolution and Novela Data Solutions was officially founded.  For MapCase, our beta version will be officially launched in August 2022 within the Clio App Store.

By who?
The co-founders of Novela Data Solutions are husband and wife team Katty Mobasher and Dax Flinn. Both have over 20 years of professional experience working in advanced GIS and mapping careers. Katty has spent the majority of her time as a university professor teaching GIS and location intelligence while Dax has worked both within the private and local government sector developing GIS applications and leading high performing GIS teams.

Who are your key managers/senior execs?
The co-founders, Katty and Dax, also hold roles as key executives. They are focused on working closely with their support teams and developers as they roll out their MapCase app and related mapping services.

Who are your target clients?
Novela Data Solutions provides services to law firms that are looking for a compelling way to get their client’s message across to an audience. Often, a map is a simple and informative way to do just that. We provide our customers with services ranging from custom maps such as boundary disputes or personal injury cases to firms which need to develop analytical tools incorporating spatial analytics such as geo-enabled dashboards. The wonderful thing about our services is that it applies to almost all areas in the legal field. For our MapCase app, we have decided to focus first on clients who are Clio users but in the future we will be expanding to other law practice management software and their users. We see our mapping services and MapCase as limitless in who would benefit from the location-based tools and functionality to support their cases.

What is your plan (growth strategy)?
As a legal technology company, this is an exciting time for Novela Data Solutions. We are focused on bringing to light the importance of our GIS technology and solutions integrating data analytics, Geo-AI and machine learning, and data visualization for trial preparation, eDiscovery, and business intelligence.

Our strategy is to continue to build out GIS solutions that complement our client’s existing workflows and help automate where possible. We continue to make geographic information easy to access and provide services that take data that would normally be available only in spreadsheets and make them viewable on a map. Often data on spreadsheets contain information that is location based. It’s when we geo-enable the data, true patterns and insight emerge. For MapCase in 2023, users can expect the ability to access thousands of geo-enabled datasets such as demographic data, population estimates, labor statistics, historical imagery, etc.

Key achievements?
Over the past year we have had great success in providing GIS and mapping services to several law firms to assist in supporting their cases. We are very proud of our start-up partnership status with Esri, an international GIS software supplier with over a million users in over 200 countries. We are also very proud of being a part of Clio’s app partner program. Clio is an international supplier of legal case management software with over 150,000 users in over 100 countries. We believe these strategic partnerships are key to the success of Novela Data Solutions and our MapCase application and provide the platform for delivering  our unique and innovative mapping technology to support the legal industry.

Have you received investment?
No, all of our funding for Novela Data Solutions has come from work we have done with customers within the legal industry such as custom maps and geo-analytical dashboards. For the past year and a half, we have been 100% focused on completing MapCase and getting it ready for production. From a company perspective, we are interested in speaking with potential investors if and when the time is right.

Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?
Since we began in 2021, Novela Data Solutions has always had a clear vision in the direction we wanted to take the company in regards to supporting the legal industry through GIS, spatial analytics and mapping. We have a very detailed roadmap ahead for our clients on services we want to provide as well as the exciting capabilities of MapCase.

What are the key challenges in your market?
Our main effort has been to help legal professionals see how they can greatly benefit from GIS and location analytics to support their clients. Even though maps have been used in court cases and trials for a very long time, it is sometimes still considered a “nice to have” concept or overlooked in the legal profession. You can tell a great story and provide key information very quickly through a map and it is sometimes that information that clicks with the audience and can decide the outcome of a case.

Tell us something people don’t already know about the company?
Novela Data Solutions was created by Katty and I and our love of GIS and location intelligence. We wanted to come up with a name that would reflect us.  By combining our son’s name Novyn and our daughter’s name Elina – the name Novela Data Solutions was born

Just as it’s exciting to watch your family grow, it is equally exciting to see your company expand and mature. We have a passion for GIS and mapping at Novela Data Solutions and we are excited to introduce ourselves as the go to source for GIS and mapping services for the legal industry.