Data are factual information, frequently organized for analysis or used to reason and make decisions. In this millennium it has been estimated that over 90% of information is stored electronically and over two-thirds of that information never makes its way to paper. It has been further estimated that there are almost 300 million emails sent on average every day, of which almost 125 million are for business (source: Statista). Moreover, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 34, effective as of December 1, 2006, use the term “electronically stored information” to identify information that, along with “documents” and “tangible things,” is subject to discovery rights and obligations.
In this context, and given Hemming Morse’s work analyzing and investigating information for use in the courtroom and the boardroom, it is not surprising that datasets are a key part of our projects, day-in and day-out. At times this involves working with clients to extract data from systems maintained to track business operations, such as an Enterprise Risk Planning (ERP) system. Sometimes the data are maintained in simple accounting programs like Quickbooks, and sometimes in customized tools like those built in Tableau. At times we create usable datasets from transactional and other information, such as bank records and invoices.
But regardless of the source, Hemming Morse assists by structuring, receiving, integrating, analyzing, and interpreting datasets. The platform that makes the most sense depends on the nature of the analysis required. Sometimes the datasets are large and require sophisticated and powerful programs such as SQL. Sometimes they are small, but require complex statistical analysis available on programs like SAS and Stata.
However, ultimately Hemming Morse’s experts’ and teams’ experience analyzing and interpreting large-scale data to understand correlations and what is indicative of causation, for effective presentation based on distillation of key insights.