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AutoClassification 101: Creating Structure from Unstructured Data

A webinar series brought to you by Epiq and Valora Technologies

Creating Structure from Unstructured Data

Part 2 in our AutoClassification webinar series focuses on the details of creating structure from unstructured data.  In this session, we will explore:
  • The difference between structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.
  • How to make sense of large repositories of unclassified content, how to generate context, and how to leverage line-of-business subject matter experts to assure high-quality classification.
  • Strategies for choosing a good place to start a content assessment project.
  • Tips, tricks, and pitfalls learned from the field when conducting content assessment projects.
  • File type challenges, the value of OCR, clustering, and more!

Details:

Past sessions:

Upcoming sessions include:

Presented by:

Sandra “Sandy” Serkes, President & CEO
Valora Technologies

Sandra (“Sandy”) Serkes is a dynamic leader with an extensive background spanning over 20 years in entrepreneurship, software marketing, product management and corporate strategy, particularly in information governance, predictive analytics, document data mining and processing, computer telephony and speech recognition.
A graduate of Harvard Business School and MIT, Ms. Serkes serves as an Adjunct Professor to the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, Knowledge Management Program, where she lectures on “Solving Information Governance & Knowledge Management Problems with Pattern-Recognition Technologies & Predictive Analytics.” since Fall 2015.

Julie Colgan, Director of Strategy and Innovation
DTI

Julie joined DTI in 2016 to lead the Management Solutions strategic pathway as well as oversee and lead our RIM, IG and Technology areas. Prior to joining DTI, Julie has served as the Head of IG Solutions for Nuix where she led the Information Governance business line, including the development and oversight of market and product strategy. Julie’s stellar background also includes being the past president of ARMA International and serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for ARMA.

Karen Frazier, Senior Consultant, Records & Information
DTI

Karen provides subject matter expertise to our clients to support them in reaching their future-state goals aligned with industry best practices as they relate to Records Management and Information Governance. This includes Records/IG assessments, employee/candidate evaluation, software evaluation and migration support, strategic project support, and RIM program strategy and guidance.

 

Copyright © 2018, All rights reserved.

December 20, 17|Categories: News|

Winter 2017-2018 Thought Leadership Update

Welcome to Valora’s Winter 2017-2018 Thought Leadership Update

 

With the new year right around the corner, we thought we’d update our fans and champions with all of the things we’ve been up to this season.

Feel free to reach out to our Marketing Team with questions, ideas or requests, or to set up a live demo of PowerHouse or BlackCat.

 

Valora News and Publications

  • New Valora Information Governance Workshops 1/2 – 2 day workshops designed by our Professional Services Team with deep experience in file, record and data management to help organizations explore, uncover and prioritize their information challenges, initiatives, procedures, and policies.
  • Valora Wins Key Information Governance Award “Valora Technologies, Inc,. a leader in predictive analytics and AutoClassification for Information Governance, has been named 2017 Finalist for Information Governance Service Provider of the Year at the Information Governance Conference in Providence, RI.”
  • Up Close with Sandra Serkes of Valora Technologies Boston Voyager Article “Originally, I thought success equaled revenue growth, and then profit, and then stability. Today I would add a personal element to all of that, such as happiness and pride in your work and your accomplishments.”

New Valora Case Studies

Valora Happenings & Events

Recent Events

Live Webinar Recordings Available

Upcoming Events

 

 

  • PowerHouse AutoCoding now supports more flexible, and larger-scale data extraction, up to 1/2 TB per day!
  • PowerHouse Quality Control User Interface now supports custom field validations & field sorting algorithms.
  • Direct live email server (SMTP) intake , allows emails to be AutoClassified with no workflow interruptions.

 

  • BlackCat hosting and data visualization now supports high performance for large-scale document populations.
  • BlackCat now supports single-sign on (SSO) via SAML API.

What is AutoClassification and Why Should I Care? Webinar Recording

What is AutoClassification and Why Should I Care?

Join industry experts Julie Colgan and Sandra Serkes for part one of a 4-part webinar series discussing the impact AutoClassification makes when analyzing, organizing and controlling documents, files, and other enterprise content.

This session covered the history and evolution of AutoClassification as an indispensable tool for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Information Governance (IG).

View the PowerPoint featured in this video here.

 

November 17, 17|Categories: News|

Valora Wins Key Information Governance Award

Valora Technologies Wins Key Information Governance Award for Second Year Running

Finalist, IG Service Provider of the Year, 2017

BEDFORD, MA (USA) – October 10, 2017 – Valora Technologies, Inc. a leader in predictive analytics and AutoClassification for Information Governance, has been named 2017 Finalist for Information Governance Service Provider of the Year at the Information Governance Conference in Providence, RI.   As Best IG Service Provider, Valora received high praise from conference attendees for a combination of demonstrated technical acumen and industry leadership.

The Information Governance Conference notes, “The #InfoGov Awards are a way of recognizing the companies and people that are moving the Information Governance industry forward. The #InfoGov Awards are a completely unbiased awards ceremony, with awards chosen by the community through nomination and voting.”

2017 marks Valora’s second year running as Finalist for Information Governance Service Provider of the Year. Last year, Valora also won Finalist for Best Information Governance Pitch of the Year.  In 2015, Sandra Serkes, Valora’s President and CEO, won Information Governance Expert of the Year.

Left to Right: Collin Cahill, Lynn Thompson, Cliff Dutton. Inset: Sandra Serkes.

“We are honored to receive this continued recognition from arguably the world’s leading authorities on Information Governance,” remarked Serkes.  “We are devoted to promoting the very best practices and technology in the fields of document analytics, classification and machine learning.”

 Earlier in the conference, Serkes served as moderator and panelist for the “AutoClassification in the Real World” session on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.  She was joined by Colin Cahill, Records Manager for Charles Stark, Jr. Draper Laboratory; Lynn Thompson, Data Scientist; and Cliff Dutton, Chief Innovation Officer for DTI, a recent investor in Valora Technologies.


About the Information Governance Con
ference
InfoGovCon is the premier conference for Information Governance practitioners from all facets of Knowledge Strategy, Records Management, Litigation & eDiscovery and Corporate Information & Compliance. The conference aims to build and foster community, promote learning and best practices, and provide networking opportunities for the IG community with its interactive sessions, panels and presentations.

About Valora Technologies, Inc.
Valora
 is a world-class provider of AutoClassification, Data Analytics and Machine Learning technologies for the Legal, Records Management & Information Governance markets. We offer data mining, analytics, coding and review, document intake and visualization, and hosted solutions for corporations & government agencies, as well as their advisory, inside & outside counsel organizations around the world.

Valora has developed a strong expertise in the processing, management & analysis of large and small matters with complex requirements, such as short deadlines, sensitive material & mixed languages. Our specialty is providing efficiency, organization and cost control.

For more information, please visit Valora’s websiteLinkedIn profile, or contact us at: 781.229.2265.

###

Press Contact:
Valora Marketing Department
mktg@valoratech.com
781.229.2265

Read Full Press Release Here

October 11, 17|Categories: News|

Boston Voyager – 9/18/17 – Meet Sandra Serkes of Valora Technologies in Bedford

Meet Sandra Serkes of Valora Technologies in Bedford

By Boston Voyager Staff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Serkes.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Valora started when its founders realized there was not a good way to “link” data form one area to another, even when the associations were readily apparent. We built a software engine to identify patterns in files and associate related information. There was an immediate need in the legal community where large document populations are the norm and there is an unending need to discover “who knew what when.”

Today we would call such terms “metadata” and the technology that identifies them “AutoClassification.” Originally providing our technological capabilities as an outsourced service, Valora today supports SaaS and cloud-based options in addition to outsourced services, as well as on premises product installations of PowerHouse and BlackCat, our flagship products.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, but what is? Some obstacles we faced were erratic, project-based revenues, and the rise of competition. Any purely services-oriented company will face days of feast and days of famine, as the project work ebbs and flows.

That was one of the driving decisions towards productizing our capabilities and offering more round-the-clock and round-the-world offerings – to even out the demand and utilization. Today about 70% of our work is recurring in nature (rather than one-off), and that has made an incredible difference in our stability and ability to invest in our future.

The second obstacle that we were bound to face eventually was competition. Even the best technologies will eventually come under attack. First, we were hit with low-cost offshore labor as a potential competitive approach and later, other competing technologies. The solution to both was (and continues to be) to keep investing in the technology to make is stronger and more and more capable. Also, today our longstanding reputation has become a strong factor as we have “seen it all” when some newer entrants really haven’t.

Valora Technologies – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Valora is a technology-based provider of automated document analytics, classification and management services for the legal, records management & information governance markets. We offer data mining, analytics, coding and review, document intake and visualization, and hosted solutions for corporations & government agencies, as well as their advisory, inside & outside counsel organizations around the world.

Valora has developed a strong expertise in the processing, management & analysis of large and small matters with complex requirements, such as short deadlines, sensitive material & mixed languages. Our specialty is providing efficiency, organization and cost control.

It would be easy to say we are most proud of our technology, but that is really only part of the total Valora picture.

Indeed, we are most proud of our 16 year longevity in the industry and with our clients, some of whom has been with us almost the entire time!

What sets us apart from others is our commitment to using technology to create clever, efficient and highly functional solutions for our clients. We are known for our ability to problem-solve and our professionalism, and that is the highest compliment a company can get!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I have a lot of personal measures for success, and they change a bit over time. Originally, I thought success equaled revenue growth, and then profit, and then stability. Today I would add a personal element to all of that, such as happiness and pride in your work and your accomplishments. Over the years I have become an industry expert and mentor to others and that has been extremely rewarding.

Going forward, my success markers will be an ability to fully realize the potential of our product base and take the company global.

Contact Info:

To read the full article click here.

September 18, 17|Categories: Feature 1, News|

Summer 2017 Thought Leadership Update

Welcome to Valora’s Summer 2017 Thought Leadership Update

 

While many people use the summer time to kick back and relax, Valora is busy bringing AutoClassification to every LegalInformation Governance, and Records Management Department around!

 

Check out all the fresh content Valora is generating, who has been covering us , and all the other exciting activities that took place over the past few months.

 

Feel free to reach out to our Marketing Team with questions, ideas or requests, or if you’d like to set up a demo of PowerHouse or BlackCat in action.

 

New Valora Publications

Case Studies:

Product Datasheets:

  • PowerHouse Valora’s AutoClassification platform automatically generates hundreds of fields of metadata, with AutoRedaction, retention policy enforcement, ROT detection, GDPR compliance and much more.
  • BlackCat Valora’s Metadata Management and Data Visualization system is a secure, online environment for managing content across multiple data silos.

FAQs:

 

Valora In The News

GDPR Preparedness:

As of May 25th, 2018 the European Union (EU) will alter business requirements for companies that possess personal information pertaining to EU residents. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to any company doing business with customers in the EU, and will have a far reaching impact, beyond just EU borders.

Columbia University:

Valora CEO Sandra Serkes and other Columbia Information & Knowledge Strategy faculty share their insights around building and fostering innovation.

New Team Members Announcement:

“… pretty much the technology dream team,” remarked Sandra Serkes, Valora’s President & CEO. “I think that’s a testament to Valora’s market promise and our solid technology stack.”

Valora/DTI Strategic Partnership:

DTI-Epiq successfully completed its strategic, minority investment in Valora, marking the coming-of-age of AutoClassification and the clear commitment of DTI-Epiq to invest in leading-edge Information Governance solutions.

PowerHouse now supports automated Legal Hold detection and workflow processing for all types of files, records, and content across an enterprise. Part of its sophisticated retention, expiration and defensible deletion capabilities, PowerHouse Legal Hold detection ensures proper Information Governance of all data, including files meant for Legal Hold.

Check out our brand-new PowerHouse Scanning Demo that shows off this powerful add-on to the PowerHouse software suite. With native integration directly into PowerHouse, scanned documents join their ESI brethren for seamless and identical AutoClassification processing.

BlackCat now supports Document Retention & Obsolescence Scheduling from within its FirstLook user view. Authorized users now actively monitor files ready for expiration, deletion, Legal Hold or attorney review.

 

Join Valora at InfoGovCon this fall!

Press Release-Valora Technologies Strengthens Core Engineering Team With Key New Hires

VALORA TECHNOLOGIES STRENGTHENS CORE ENGINEERING TEAM WITH KEY NEW HIRES

Industry Veterans Mary Vogt and Scott Mackey Drive PowerHouse™ Software Development for Rapidly Growing AutoClassification Firm

BEDFORD, MA – June 30, 2017 – Valora Technologies, Inc., a world-class provider of AutoClassification, Data Analytics and Machine Learning technologies for the Legal, Records Management & Information Governance markets, today announced two key appointments to its expanding Core Engineering Team. Mary Vogt and Scott Mackey join Aaron Goodisman, Valora’s Chief Technology Officer, and the rest of the Valora Engineering team, with specific focus on building out the company’s PowerHouse™ and BlackCat™ AutoClassification and Data Visualization products.

Mary Vogt serves as Senior Software Engineer, with a 20-year background in enterprise document management and web services. She previously worked directly with Mr. Goodisman at SilverStream Software (now MicroFocus), as well as prior engagements with Lotus, FileNet, and as as an independent software consultant. Mr. Goodisman and Ms. Vogt studied together as undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Ms. Vogt also holds a Master’s Degree from Simmons College.

Scott Mackey joins the team most recently from Dell EMC, with previous experience in analytics and full-stack Java development at iRobot, General Dynamics, and other leading Massachusetts technology firms. With 10 years of Java-based development expertise, his background in REST APIs and both Java- and web-based UI design is ideally suited to Valora’s work in enterprise-scale AutoClassification. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from the University of Colorado.

“This is pretty much the technology dream team,” remarked Sandra Serkes, Valora’s President & CEO. “We are lucky to draw such outstanding individuals in this very tight labor pool for engineering talent. I think that’s a testament to Valora’s market promise and our solid technology stack.”
Valora will continue adding to its Engineering group throughout the year, capitalizing on its recent investment from DTI Global.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Mary and Scott to the Valora team,” said Valora CTO Aaron Goodisman. “We have a lot of exciting ideas for moving the product suite forward and this group is uniquely qualified to implement them.”

About Valora Technologies, Inc.

Valora is a world-class provider of AutoClassification, Data Analytics and Machine Learning technologies for the Legal, Records Management & Information Governance markets. We offer data mining, analytics, coding and review, document intake and visualization, and hosted solutions for corporations & government agencies, as well as their advisory, inside & outside counsel organizations around the world.

Valora has developed a strong expertise in the processing, management & analysis of large and small matters with complex requirements, such as short deadlines, sensitive material & mixed languages. Our specialty is providing efficiency, organization and cost control.

For more information, please visit Valora’s website, LinkedIn profile, or contact us at: 781.229.2265.

###

Press Contact:
Marketing Department
mktg@valoratech.com
781.229.2265

View as PDF Here

June 14, 17|Categories: News|

Valora’s GDPR Article Accepted for ICAIL/DESI VII 2017

Valora’s GDPR Article Accepted for ICAIL/DESI VII 2017

The ICAIL conference is the primary international conference addressing research in Artificial Intelligence and Law, and has been organized biennially since 1987 under the auspices of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL).
ICAIL provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest research results and practical applications, fostering interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Conference proceedings will be published by the Association for Computing Machinery.
Valora is proud to announce that this is the second year that we have had a paper accepted and been invited to present at the ICAIL/DESI conference.
June 12, 17|Categories: News|

Understanding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

As of May 25th, 2018 the European Union (EU) will alter business requirements for companies that possess personal information pertaining to EU residents.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to any company doing business with customers in the EU, and will have a far reaching impact, beyond just EU borders.  While a primary purpose of the GDPR is to harmonize data privacy protection regulations across the various EU member nations, the potential business interruption for organizations around the world is a serious concern…

Read More Here

Also Available Here, on the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, via ICAIL 2017

Written By:
Sandra Serkes
Joseph Bartolo, Jr.

May 25, 17|Categories: News|

Columbia University-A Blueprint for Building Innovation Capacity

A Blueprint for Building Innovation Capacity

During the Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) program residency at Columbia University, a panel of speakers representing Nike, World Bank, Wells Fargo, Educational Testing Service, Valora Technologies, and Thompson Reuters convened to answer these questions. Illana Raia, IKNS faculty member and former Knowledge Counsel for Skadden, Arps, served as moderator.

1. Set Your Mark

As Carlos Gámez of Thomson Reuters explained, determining how your company plans to measure innovation involves several steps:

  • First, “you need an innovation strategy – a hypothesis that answers how encouraging and funding certain activities could accelerate business results.”
  • Next, you need real metrics to validate your hypothesis, project by project. “[Metrics] help you learn and place more follow-on bets…you are buying options with this new information,” said Gámez.
  • Panelists concurred that it’s not enough to measure the return on investment without having a sort of rubric for evaluating successful/unsuccessful experiments, disruptive/incremental impacts on the industry, and disruptive/incremental impacts on an organization.
  • “The bottom line is this: it ultimately has to be what the market wants,” said Nathan Bricklin of Wells Fargo.

2. Have an Innovation Mindset

World Bank’s Kelly Widelska and Nike consultant Julie Langford agreed, noted that numerous innovation roles – whether agitator, coach, evangelist, or project manager – require a mindset of thinking outside the box. Certainly, we can nudge, train, and encourage employees to push boundaries and seek creative solutions, but most panelists argued also for an infusion of talent uninhibited by company tradition, functional norms, or industry norms. An innovative culture begins with hiring. “Look for candidates with deep curiosity,” urged Kelli Carlson of Wells Fargo. “To create the right environment, we need lots of that.”

3. Build an Ecology of Risk Tolerance

Once you have established parameters for how you will measure innovation, the next step is inviting a wide swath of creative thinkers and risk takers within your community and placing what Gámez called “bets” on them. Panelists shared their strategies for this:

  • Applaud publicly those who take risk.
  • Simultaneously create a safe environment in which to fail.
  • Extract the wisdom hidden in those failures and broadcast that.

Wells Fargo’s Kelli Carlson advised to “fail fast” but “feel the pain” in order to glean insight from experience. “Failure is the foundation of learning and a far better teacher than success,” added former ETS Chief Learning Officer T.J. Elliott, paraphrasing Bill Gates.

Panelists agreed that what we shouldn’t do is to isolate failures as deviant, and not part of the innovation process. They stressed the importance of seeing the whole picture rather than focusing on a single failure.

4. Bridge and Cross-Pollinate

Innovation often comes from bridging ideas from one domain or application to the next. “Collaborate across your corporate cultures even when it seems impossible,” stated World Bank’s Kelly Widelska, “We have academics co-design with investment bankers.”

“Multiple functions need to collaborate,” agreed Wells Fargo’s Kelli Carlson, “to get the ideas that can survive in the wild.” How different organizations achieve this depends largely on corporate culture. Striving for an “empathy culture” — being open-minded even when it feels risky — was a common goal.

“Agitators get attention,” warned Wells Fargo’s Nathan Bricklin, noting that creative input should be sought from all members of a team. He added that, as a manager, you also need to be able to hear those reticent to speak. “You have to be multispeed, fast and slow.” Not all innovations will come in blaze of galloping horses. Some will come slowly, such as in the gnawing realization that a meeting went badly.

5. Do the Unexpected

From bite-sized daily innovation texts to full-scale accelerator programs, the panelists shared how they engage their communities in thoughtful and provocative ways, including gamification, hackathons, product design contests, and innovation jams.

Kelli Carlson described her “daily innovation texts” about the innovation process and high-profile innovations in the industry. She and Nathan Bricklin also described the “Appy Hour,” a monthly (alcohol-free) gathering among the Wells Fargo Innovation Group where “we choose anywhere from 3 to 5 apps, identify their applicability to our group, and then demo them for an hour.”

6. Respect the Past – It Could be Your Future

Finally, panelists urged respectful examination of the past. “Don’t lose the tacit knowledge and experience that made you successful in the first place,” admonished ETS’ T.J. Elliott. He pointed out that balancing innovation with the necessary “operating and maintaining” of a company is a subtle distinction for new innovation leaders. The panelists offered some valuable final tips on how to achieve that balance:

  • Be systematic about what you know.
  • Try, fail, learn, and repeat.
  • Revisit and respect prior attempts (whether you call them failures or not), instead of creating new solutions out of whole cloth.

Valora’s Sandy Serkes pointed out that sometimes reviewing the past can be innovative in itself. “We use different circuits in our brain when we consider something in a new light.”

Learn more about Columbia University’s Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy.

Illana Raia

May 25, 17|Categories: News|
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