Our thanks to JoAnna Forshee and Jobst Elster of Inside Legal in the US for sending us this word-cloud and commentary on the hot topics on the conference agenda at this week’s LegalTech New York event. (We also have a word-cloud for the 2013 LegalTech.) Once again, the agenda seems strongly slanted towards ediscovery, particularly when the related topics of information governance, risk management, predictive coding and technology assisted review are added to the mix. It is also interesting to see the word “Sponsored” so heavily featured – are delegates getting the sessions they want to hear or only the topics the sponsors have paid to deliver?

Factoid: 82 of the 216 registered vendors (38%) are offering eDiscovery solutions (41% in 2013 but there has been a lot of consolidation). Plus, 30 of the 64 sessions (47%) including keynotes and plenaries, are EDD-themed and 11 of those are solely focused on the buzz around predictive coding and technology assisted review (TAR). Also 65% of the official LTNY educational sponsors are eDiscovery product and service providers.





InsideLegal say… This is the fourth year we have turned the event program into this type of word cloud, a visual snapshot of the main content themes and discussion topics. How does this compare to previous years? What topics made headlines in our word clouds for 2013, 2012 and 2011?  Here are some musings on 2014 and past year comparisons:

•    So 2014 is the year of information governance and data (not necessarily ‘big’)… proactive risk management. How can we properly (legally/ethically/affordably) manage and control data? What is the intersection with eDiscovery and big data? ARMA, which in 2013 put together several high quality big data sessions, looks to be focused on information governance education in 2014.

•    Big data made a big showing in 2013 but didn’t appear in 2012 or 2011. This year, even though there are a 2 dedicated ‘big data’ conference tracks, the topic itself appears a bit muted. Our conclusion: Most sessions and content themed big data on the agenda are actually eDiscovery related – see predictive coding, technology assisted review, etc. After all, the main big data track sponsors are eDiscovery folks. Include ‘analytics’ and ‘metrics’ and the slew of info governance topics and a more well-rounded big data picture takes shape.

•    Considering privacy and security are on everyone’s ‘major challenges’ and ‘top priority’ lists, the topics themselves are somewhat downplayed. We suspect these topics are central to most information governance discussions which seem to be dominating this year.

•    What happened to law firm clients and corporate? Sessions focused on clients/serving corporate were a much bigger deal in years past … a disappointing trend considering GC dissatisfaction with outside counsel is growing and not going away.

•    Where did the big pricing discussion go? Remember AFAs? Session wise, LTNY seems to have moved on.

•    The ‘cloud’ has officially left the building… but only in terms of being talked about and labeled. While everyone was talking about cloud solutions in 2011 and 2012, we couldn’t find much talk of it in the agenda. Now, the true cloud focus is on real world applications beyond DR/BC and storage.