Did you know your organization’s contracts might be keeping secrets from you? It’s true. That’s because new and novel contracts may be introduced on a daily basis. Even the most casual activity, like activating a new app, brings with it a new set of legal agreements. These agreements sometimes conceal unanticipated risks, uncovered liabilities and worse. Fortunately, the emerging discipline of contract analytics is restoring order and predictability, reducing disputes — and cutting down on the manual review.
Contract analytics in action
Contract analytics solutions are both risk-management tools and aids to better negotiation. Machine learning algorithms pull apart documents and map each section against approved templates for contract language, highlighting where terms or conditions differ.
By consolidating contract language and enforcement, contract analytics solutions make it easier to build agreements from approved language. That means less time and effort wasted by legal teams sending requests for language approval or refinement. Plus, contract analytics solutions can be shared by internal teams as well as with counterparties — keeping everyone on the same virtual page until the document is ready for signature.
After contracts are agreed upon and signed, contract analytics can monitor ongoing performance and issue reminders and alerts if terms are not being followed. They also provide timely reminders when contracts are soon to expire, or when a related agreement, like a non-disclosure agreement, is no longer in force. And powerful exploration portals and search capabilities give stakeholders access to the information they need. Sales professionals can see the latest options for concessions to a client, while financial professionals can quickly categorize exposures to non-payment risk.
New business intelligence assets
Contract analytics solutions do more than provide searchable repositories of approved language and agreements in force. They turn contracts themselves — and the opportunities and liabilities they represent — into a new business intelligence asset. Conduent, already a leader in eDiscovery, has also developed contract analytics capabilities that minimize operational risk while maximizing compliance. In complex scenarios such as look-back reviews and targeted document validation, these solutions can reduce manual review projects by up to 18 months.
Legal analytics is a vitally important discipline to any organization interested in growth and agility. But uncertainty, guesswork and hidden liabilities can prevent businesses from moving forward or making the necessary changes. Solutions that can take contracts from creation through compliance and renewal help both sides achieve the goals contained within the agreement — in a convenient and easily searched format. And they shine a light on the issues that inhibit growth by making it harder to manage, amend, or exit established relationships. It’s an investment in business intelligence capabilities that enhances not just every new deal on a tactical level, but the strategic potential of the business.