Publishers’ Evolving Role as Curators of Public Domain Content

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on March 15, 2013

I’ve always admired how private publishers made it possible for professionals to access tax, legal and regulatory content. Their role was primarily aggregation and distribution through print. But they also curated. Looseleaf publishing, which required editorial expertise, made it possible to reconcile topically published content with chronologically published updates, all under a single topical classification scheme relevant to a specific area of law. Publishers made a choice as to how to organize content in looseleafs as well what to include and exclude, based on a deep understanding of professional customers’ needs. Technology later made it possible to digitize hardbound & looseleaf print volumes, thus making it accessible through full-text & fielded-metadata search. Read further >


Trends towards Automating Regulatory Compliance

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on December 31, 2012

While the problem is not yet solved, several research papers reveal movement towards automating translation of regulatory and legislative texts into machine-readable logic and human-readable statements. This research is timely, given the increasingly regulatory burden within each jurisdiction and across all jurisdictions. As I noted in an earlier post, professional human editors are essential but cannot keep up with every regulatory development globally in every domain. Automation will become increasingly important. The benefit of automation (reality check: there is still a long road ahead) is that desktop, laptop and mobile computing devices would be able to query regulations in a more sophisticated way, use them in decision trees, and translate them into prescriptive easy-to-read statements that professionals could apply to their clients’ problems. Another potential benefit is automatically mapping regulations to organizational processes. Read further >


Amazon’s Simple Workflow Service: Possiblities for Hybrid Content-Software Solutions

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on October 24, 2012

Imagine a plethora of professional content assets (primary and secondary sources of law) stored in a cloud. Imagine a workflow engine that can be used to create calculations and perform tasks for tax, legal and regulatory professionals. Imagine further that the workflow engine can pull in relevant content stored in the cloud to help professionals fulfill a particular workflow step. Now that workflow step might be a calculation of numbers or rates. It might be answering a multiple-choice question, approving a signature or a transaction, answering a true-false question, filling in a blank. It could be intelligent interactive document assembly that results in the filing of a document with a court or a regulatory agency. Reading legislation, cases, regulations, administrative rulings and editorially created explanations and commentaries can increase confidence in a professional using a workflow service about how to proceed in any workflow step. Such a workflow engine that pulls in contextually relevant content for an end user is, in my opinion, an example of a hybrid content-software solution. I see Amazon’s Simple Workflow Service combined with Amazon’s various cloud services enabling such solutions. Read further >


Understanding Meaning in Search: Latent Semantic Analysis

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on August 21, 2012

Tax, legal, regulatory and healthcare professionals increasingly rely on full-text search engines to identify content relevant to answering their clients’ questions and solving their problems. There are two challenges to full-text searching; syonomy and polysemy. “Synonymy” simply means that there are multiple words that express the same concept: synonyms. For example, “contract” and “agreement” can, in a legal sense, refer to some sort of legally enforceable obligation. The customer who searches for Read further >


Viewing Regulation as an Opportunity

Kieran Leahy
Written by Kieran Leahy
on July 31, 2012

I attended the Wolters Kluwer 2012 half-year results presentation in Amsterdam on 25th July and spoke at a round-table about the Perfect Regulatory Storm (listen to the podcast) currently hitting the Financial Services industry. There were a number of journalists present and I had an interesting conversation with Ilse Zeemeijer from Het Financieele Dagblad. Ilse was interested in FRSGlobal’s “single version of the truth” and how DataFoundation helped organizations with the myriad of regulations across the globe. Read further >


G-Speak Spatial Operating Environment: A Next Frontier in Solutions for Professionals

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on July 11, 2012

As Wendy Gardiner noted in her post, one of the keynote speakers at Wolters Kluwer’s Technology Conference was Kwindla Kramer, CEO of Oblong Industries. Oblong created the gestural interfaces in the film Minority Report (see this TEDtalks video given by John Underkoffler, the science advisor for the film). Oblong’s mission is to remake the world of computers and part of that effort was the development of the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment. Its current customers and partners include Boeing, SAP, GE, and others. My question is how this operating environment can be relevant to Wolters Kluwer’s customers. How might g-speak augment Wolters Kluwer’s solutions for its professional customers? Can g-speak enhance professionals’ solutions for their clients? Read further >


When Will the e-CFR Become Official?

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on June 20, 2012

Suppose you are a tax, legal, regulatory or healthcare professional representing a client in the United States. You want to help your client understand the full extent of fedeal regulatory activity. Inevitably, your research will involve the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) and the Federal Register (“FR”). I already have posted about the added value of Federal Register 2.0 in this context. But now I want to add some thoughts about the e-CFR. Read further >


Emerging Hybrid Content-Software Products for Tax, Legal and Regulatory Professionals

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on May 09, 2012

In the software and information services industry, I foresee a merger of software and content. We’ve certainly seen over the past decades software supplementing or replacing tasks that formerly were performed through use of content assets. Example: tax software for filling out tax returns that in the 1950’s required pencil, paper and some sort of tax reference book. Tax calculation has a level of predictability and standardization not present for many other tasks performed by tax, legal and regulatory professionals (these principles apply equally to the health sector, but my background is not in health). Content fully integrated into the tax compliance software environment can increase customers’ confidence in act on a particular workflow step in the software. But I see a an even bigger future for these two inputs. Read further >


More on Social Media in Government as Inspiration for the Private Sector

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on March 19, 2012

Recently I posted about social media in government, particularly government’s presence in social media. I noted how government’s increasing presence in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., can inspire the private sector in integrating social media with commentary and explanations. I’d like to dig deeper into the topic from another perspective. Take a look at Regulations.gov. Click on “Advanced Search.” Place a checkmark next to “Open for Comment” and click “Search.” You’ll see a results list of US government regulatory activity that is, literally, open for comments. You’ll also find several submissions of comments by citizens about regulatory activity. You can click “Submit a Comment” to offer your own thoughts about regulatory activity. Every comment receives a “Comment Tracking Number” that enables its later retrieval. Users also can find comments by keyword search. Regulations.gov reminds me a bit of Facebook but with a focus on regulations. Each proposed regulation in Regulations.gov has its own “wall” just like each member of Facebook. Read further >


Exploring trends, content, technology, and new ideas in the global information industry. New posts every Monday, Friday, and whenever the innovation bug inspires us. Visit www.wolterskluwer.com to learn all about us.
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