Ironclad Journal icon IRONCLAD JOURNAL

Contract Data Extraction: Bringing Contracts to Life

Woman working on contract data extraction

In-house legal teams are essential for contract negotiations and obligations, but they also could use a little extra help. In today’s fast-paced business environment, a lawyer—with all their patience and diligence—may still require an extra hand (or some efficient technology) to ensure that contracts are properly analyzed. This is where contract data extraction helps bring contracts quickly to life. 

With next-generation contract management software, lawyers have on-demand access to metadata to help make more intelligent decisions. This is where contract data extraction becomes crucial. This metadata helps identify renewal dates, indemnification obligations, governing law, and so much more. It can analyze a specific contract or a large set of contracts for a business client. With an integrated digital information repository and contract analysts, your data-driven company will be able to streamline all contract processes.

What is contract data extraction and why should I care?

Digital contracting is the future. Contact analysis empowers your legal team to make accurate assessments. It gives them instant access to contract metadata that is visible, searchable, and easy to use. All of your contracts are transformed into a dynamic intelligence resource. 

Using the Ironclad software, you’ll have access to templatized and third-party paper workflows to help in your business contracting. When a contract is completed, it is added to the Dynamic Repository. From here, every contract you’ve done is stored and its metadata analyzed. The contract management software automatically collects information on these contracts at every stage of the contract lifecycle, searching for:

  • Potential improvements to each stage of the cycle
  • Ways to improve acceptance
  • Data on redlines, length of time in each stage, former errors, and more
  • Unique characteristics of party-specific contracts
  • Template contracts and form language

Using metadata throughout the process allows you to improve the entirety of your contract management lifecycle. To guide you, data analyst teams will help with data interpretation and development.

Using contract data analysts to surface business-critical metadata

Data extraction is a useful tool for digital contracts. But what about legacy paper contracts? This is where the Ironclad Contract Data Analyst Team comes in handy. An attorney will spend time and effort analyzing a single contract, but imagine them having to go through a plethora of contracts on their own. Legal professionals simply don’t have the time to pour over tons of data from numerous contracts.

Keeping up with contracting data is daunting, especially if you have a small legal team. Ironclad’s Contract Analyst Program takes a lot of this pressure off your legal team, while also using data to make for more efficient processes going forward. Our team recruits and trains laws students to help provide accurate and usable contract data to our customers. This well-prepared team will handle an overwhelming amount of your data without you having to hire extra employees. They will also help you convert legacy systems and integrate them into a digital platform.

Bring contracts out of the filing cabinet and into the digital age

The goal of the Ironclad Contract Analyst program is to deliver error-free and high-quality contract data identification to our customers. Analysts review legacy contract sets and tag key contracting data per your specifications. This analysis of pre-digital contracts can help you improve your business model with modern efficiency previously unavailable to anyone using paper or archaic digital formats.

Every customer specifies the data they need. Our team can also help you identify the data you should be focusing on. Some of these data points include:

  • Total contract value
  • Exclusivity terms
  • Ability to terminate for convenience
  • Auto-renewal or opt-out notification periods
  • PII exchange
  • Counterparty address region.

Once this data is extracted by our legal analyst team, all data points are tagged and categorized for easy viewing. Grouping similar data together allows anyone to interpret that information without a need for training. Your employees can use this data to make informed decisions about how to improve processes and streamline your existing contract lifecycle management (CLM).

This information is uploaded to the Ironclad system and organized within the Digital Repository. Every contract is stored in this convenient location, where it’s always accessible, along with relevant metadata useful to your future business plan. You’ll have on-demand access to business-critical information at any given time.

What is contract metadata?

Contract metadata is data about the contract. Sounds simple—but it’s not. Metadata is the backbone of any contract, but it requires intensive analysis to be useful to your business processes. While legacy systems and paper contracts won’t reveal this important and business-critical data on its own, automated contract data extraction puts this information at your fingertips. With contract metadata you’re able to:

  • Streamline communications among teams and departments
  • Search contract repositories for form language relevant to a new contract
  • Monitor consistency, efficiency, and relevant updates
  • Make strategic decisions on past and future agreements
  • Examine clear summaries of complex information

New contracts created in Ironclad’s digital platform will do all of this for you moving forward. But what about all those contracts you’ve already created? A team of legal analysts will be able to extract metadata, even from your oldest contracts. This allows you to treat all of your contracts like new, taking advantage of deadline reminders and data that can help you prepare for renegotiations and comply with regulations.

Using your newfound metadata

Your business has likely been contracting for a long time. Legacy contracts no longer need to be a limitation to your business, though. Metadata can even be extracted from outdated contracts. After all, there’s valuable data hidden in these contracts that can help your current business. The hard part is getting all that information together. Ironclad’s Data Analysts can help you extract this information from pre-digital mediums to enhance your current contract lifecycle management systems.

With the help of metadata, you can begin to:

  • Streamline your contract lifecycle management program
  • Analyze metrics for improving the contract approval stage
  • Use data to improve contract negotiation efficiency
  • Utilize appropriate digital methods for contract approval 
  • Find common errors and correct them
  • Manage client expectations and meet their needs
  • Analyze your own team’s efficiency and accuracy

Critical information does not have to be hard to find. With this data in hand, you can enhance your systems and improve your business model. The metadata extracted by analysts will have beneficial effects for years to come.

Bridging the gaps: Education, law, business, and technology

The Contract Analyst Program gives law students and recent graduates a real-world primer into the legal world. They learn the importance of mission-critical contract data while providing you with an invaluable service. The benefits to these students and your contract management systems can hardly be overstated. Being able to identify unique data points can help you improve your processes.

Our team asked several contract analysts about their thoughts on the value of the program and found some key takeaways:

“The work I’ve performed for Ironclad has helped me better understand the fundamentals of digital contracts in an ever-changing world.” — Alexander Hagevig, 2022 J.D. Candidate at Golden State School of Law

“It has enhanced my learnings from law school and given me a look into the actual legal profession.” — Austin Brown, 2022 J.D. Candidate at the University of San Francisco School of Law

Students are not the only ones who have benefited from this program—members of the Ironclad team have as well:

“Meeting truly amazing people at Ironclad and learning from them and their diverse, non-traditional legal paths has been extremely inspiring.” — Marie Sarbaziazad, 2020 Graduate of University of San Francisco and Founding Member of Contract Analyst Program

“Our customers unlock the power of their contract through data; the analysts develop as aspiring legal professionals; and Ironclad invests in the future of Legal, providing local students opportunities that might otherwise be outsourced.” — Chris Young, Ironclad’s General Counsel and Departmental Head of Contract Analyst Program

This program—and the talented team behind it—provide an exceptional experience. While our members and students receive a great educational opportunity, you get their high-quality analysis to bring your legacy documents into the future. Without the need to hire more employees to do this for you, you can see a great return on investment by modernizing your older contracts.

Use contract data analysts to bring your contracts to life

With the Ironclad Data Analyst Program, you can bring your old contracts out of the pre-digital age while capturing the value of all of the work performed by your employees over the years. The Ironclad system is designed to maximize the use of your data and help you have a more efficient business.

Free your contracts from dusty file cabinets and old-school cloud storage. The future of metadata is here. Empower your legal teams with the information they need and avoid long hours manually pouring over data points. Try Ironclad for your team today.

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