4Data, Data Modelling and Governance

In the first part of this chapter, we define and discuss the concept of ‘data’, before going on to detail the different forms of data, and data models that can be used to represent information and hold data. In particular, we consider the structure of a database, and how this can be effectively put to use in a commercial context in order for businesses to be able to maximise the value of their data across a firm (or more specifically, in the context of this book, legal data).

It is crucial that well‐developed reference data principles are applied when considering legal data (be it for legal agreement or legal opinion data). One of the issues financial firms face currently is that legal data stores have been developed and built with little beyond technical legal expertise, failing to understand basic data governance and modelling principles and techniques. As a result, this has severely limited the ability to use such data for business, regulatory and operational purposes.

What is Data?

The term ‘data’ refers to facts or pieces of information that can be used for reference and analysis. Data can exist in a huge variety of different formats; as text, electronic memory or even as facts in a person's mind. It is important to draw a distinction between ‘data’ and ‘information’. Data refers to raw facts and statistics, whereas information refers to a subset of data that is accurate, timely, organised and specific to a purpose. Information can ...

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