The 17th annual Ipro Innovations conference was held at the Talking Stick Resort. It was well-organized with two and a half days of informative talks and fun activities. Early in the day everyone met in a large hall for the talks, whereas there were seven simultaneous breakout sessions later in the day. There were many sessions in computer labs where attendees could gain first-hand experience with the Ipro software. I could only attend the tail end of the conference because I was at the NorCal eDiscovery & IG Retreat earlier in the week. I’ve included my notes below. You can find my full set of photos here.
The keynote on the final day was delivered by Afterburner, a consulting firm promoting a “Flawless Execution” methodology based on military strategy. Their six steps of mission planning are: 1) determine the mission objective, 2) identify the threats, 3) identify your available and required resources, 4) evaluate lessons learned, 5) develop a course of action, and 6) plan for contingencies. The audience participated in exercises to illustrate how easily attention can be channelized, meaning that you focus on one thing at the expense of everything else. Channelized attention was the cause of a commercial airliner crash. To avoid being distracted by minor things (deadlines, cost, etc.), keep track of what it is most important to pay attention to (customers).
Tiana Van Dyk described her firm’s 1.5 year transition from Summation to Ipro’s Eclipse, including moving 325 cases over. Substantial time and preparation are needed to avoid problems and overcome resistance to change. Staff should not be allowed to access the new system without undergoing training. Case studies are useful to convince people to use new analytics tools. Start small with new analytics tools (email threading and near-dupe), then use clustering to remove some junk (football and LinkedIn emails), and finally TAR. Use sampling to demonstrate that things are working. Learn everything you can about the technology you have. Missteps can set you back terribly, causing bad rumors and fear. Continuous communication is important to minimize panic when there is a problem.
There were also talks on new functionality in the Ipro software. I gave a short presentation on how Ipro’s transition to the Clustify engine would improve TAR. There were several opportunities for Ipro customers to give feedback about the functionality they would like to see.