“It’s all about the data. Everything is — without a doubt,” says Gerard Beaulieu about the challenge facing Canadian executives today. “In the next 10 to 20 years, information is going to be what makes or breaks a company. One hundred per cent.”
That’s why it’s so important for Canadian businesses to get a grip on their treasure trove of information, says the head of the legal operations program at Simplex Legal. “Because the next challenge will be organizing it in a way that puts them in a position to control how they can control the conversation around that data.”
It’s an exciting challenge for Gerard to take up because, in many respects, data has always been a crucial part of the practice of law. But never has the legal system generated such a massive and ever-increasing amount of it. What’s more, the convenience, accessibility, and speed of digital vehicles are transforming the legal industry from within. “I just see the huge opportunities that are out there for legal departments – to improve things, to streamline the process, and to provide a service level that doesn’t seem to exist today in much of the legal industry.”
Trained as a computer engineer, Gerard’s strengths lie in his creativity and his ability to understand complex environments. He relies on those skills to help clients improve their business systems and services. He also relies on his experience in data-driven analytics to help clients manage their legal expenses in the most efficient way possible.
Born in Saskatchewan, Gerard graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelors in Engineering. He cut his teeth with the aerospace leader, Pratt & Whitney Canada. There he was successful in introducing data management efficiencies and other business improvements which led to significant cost savings for the business. After six years at P&W, Gerard made a move to the oil & energy sector. Over the next few years, he would manage several international projects for the Wood Group in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 2014, he settled back in Alberta and is now embarking on a new adventure, as VP of Legal Operations at Simplex Legal, where he brings his many talents, management expertise, and understanding of data analytics to the firm’s clients.
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