/ Inside Juro

Welcome Matt Upson: Juro’s new Data Scientist

Matt recently joined Juro as Data Scientist. Previously with the Government Digital Service, Matt will be helping the Juro community make smarter decisions around contracts.

Hey Matt, welcome to the team! Tell us a bit about your journey to Juro.

I was introduced to Juro by a good friend just as I was moving on from my previous role at GDS. Juro has a great team, a cool product, and is really willing to support remote working, not to mention having some really interesting data problems. I’m really pleased to be here!

What are you responsible for at Juro?

Juro has done a great job of building an end to end pipeline for contracts and there are many places where we can use data science to improve on this process, and create a more magical experience for users. I’m responsible for adding some of the magic.

What got you interested in legal tech in the first place?

I’d been to a Legal Geek event some time ago, so was aware of the flourishing legal tech scene, and the role that data science can play in the sector’s digital transformation. In honesty, I wasn’t looking at legal tech in particular when searching for a new role, I was looking for interesting data problems, and a good culture, and that’s what I found in Juro.

How do you think legal teams can make better use of data?

I suppose that the first thing for teams in all sectors is to recognise the value of data. Deciding to be data driven is a cultural decision first off, not a technological one. It’s easy to collect data on simple metrics that allow teams to better optimise the way they work, that’s what LegalOps is all about. Moving on from simple Business Information, the particular challenge that legal teams have is that their most valuable data, contracts, are not in a form that can easily be analysed. It requires expertise to extract actionable insight from a body of text documents.

Moreover whilst great strides have been made in developing Artificial Intelligence to do amazing things in, say, computer vision (think about how AI can recognise things in your photos), progress on text data problems has been slower. So for now at least, in house legal teams need to employ data professionals to make best use of their data, or rely on third party services to do it for them.

How do you think your experience in working in Government will help you?

I spent a lot of time thinking about how Government can improve the way it produces official statistics, which meant bringing automation to predominantly manual processes. This has a lot in common with the way that Juro is optimising contract workflows. I also worked on applying deep learning to text problems, which will be super relevant to some of the problems that Juro has.

Finally, Government is a deeply conservative organisation, that is very worried about protecting sensitive data, and behaving ethically with that data. I bring this focus on security and ethics to Juro; I was super pleased to see Juro producing a clear and unambiguous privacy policy that you can actually read!

What is your top tip for contract success?

I wouldn’t take legal advice from a data scientist. Ask me again in six months!

What has been the best thing about working at Juro so far?

Juro walks the walk as far as being data driven is concerned. I’ve been super impressed by the focus on data in all parts of the business so far. And obviously I need to mention the team: smart and dedicated, it’s great.

If you were trapped on a desert island, which 3 items would you bring?

So weirdly enough, I spent about 6 years working as a survival instructor so I’m all over this one: a machete, foot powder, and a yoga mat!

Thanks Matt - welcome to the team!

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