Leveraging technology to add research value

Insights from a veteran researcher

Caterina Corazza feature

At LAC Group, our information professionals come from a variety of backgrounds and specializations. With focuses on various industries, our research analysts’ experiences differ despite being working for the same company.

In our recent acquisition of ShiftCentral, many talented research experts joined the LAC Group team. Previously, we featured Samantha Both, LAC Group Research Analyst with a background in sociology. This time, we interviewed a senior researcher, Caterina Corazza, who shares her law background, industry challenges and future outlook.

What do your day-to-day activities look like?

I’ve been a senior researcher at ShiftCentral (now LAC Group) since July 2018. As a member of the research team, I receive research assignments on sectors of interest to the clients. Since my background is in financial regulation, I usually receive questions that are connected in one way or another to the financial markets.  

Typically, the clients want to identify trends in their own sector, so they can keep up with changes that might affect their business. For example, a law firm might want to identify litigation trends in their main practice areas, whether it’s securities, IP, employment law, etc. 

The degree of analysis depends on the clients’ instructions. Sometimes, the client is more interested in volume trends, whereas other clients want in-depth or qualitative analysis. So, as a researcher, it’s also my responsibility to understand the client’s objectives. To me, a well-written report understands not only the research question, but the purpose for which the question was asked.

How does your background play into your current role?

My professional background is in law and I worked in various capacities (including as a lawyer) for a provincial financial regulator in Canada. All of my favorite assignments involved research in one form or another, so market intelligence was an excellent fit. As a researcher, I get to stay on top of trends and emerging issues in many sectors, which is extremely interesting. 

What is your favorite aspect of your work? Challenges?

The emerging issues are those I find the most interesting, especially when related to technology. I enjoy seeing how a sector is changing, thinking about which services are ripe for automation and what are the issues that could occur. 

Carterina Coraza featured select quote

To ensure I’m on the right track, I take a step back to understand as much as I can about the technology, and how it can realistically be used.

Where do you see this industry going?

Here, too, I’m the most excited about technological change. As search tools become more reliable, our work can only improve. Once we automate any repetitive aspects of the data collection process, then we can focus on analysis and other tasks that add value. 

Though I’ve been doing market research for a while, I certainly remember how tedious legal research could be. Even a well-constructed search could produce far too many results, if there were lots of court decisions on a particularly contentious issue. So, I’m excited about how automation will continue to make legal research more efficient. 

As for challenges, the famous quote from Isaac Asimov comes to mind—“I do not fear computers; I fear the lack of them.” To me, this is especially the case in government, including in the U.S., because various departments are using technology that is increasingly out of sync with the private sector.

What advice would you give to young professionals entering the field?

The best advice I’ve received in the legal profession is the same I’d give to a fellow researcher: Question everything and assume your client does the same. It’s our job to cut through the noise and provide quality analysis. We can only do that if we’re sure of everything we’re advancing and provide information that is backed up through reputable, balanced sources. 

Even with the best of sources, language matters too. Is an organization a “disrupter” or an “innovator”? I try to write all my reports using matter-of-fact language, that does not incorporate any judgment or bias.

Katy Davis

Katy Davis

Katy is responsible for supporting LibGig's recruiting department and recruiting for library and information management positions in the legal, federal, media, corporate, and academic sectors.
Katy Davis