Never Train on Live Data (The Data You Actually Use)!

I always say, “Never train on live data” because if something happens, it’s a “problem,” to say the least. Today I failed to abide by my own words. Guess what, something happened. The database with 98,542 records shrunk a bit — to 6 records. So did my stomach.

Having never seen this before, I called Tech Support. The rep hadn’t seen it either. He put me on hold and found out a couple of the other reps had heard of this. What did it mean? That the database had crashed and I needed to restore it from a backup. And, of course, the firm didn’t think there was a backup! Fortunately, I found a copy of the database file, and all was well. Of course, I strongly recommended that the firm backup the data — and when I return for more training, we’ll use my training databases.

About Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel authors the Technology column in The Philadelphia Lawyer, quarterly magazine of the Philadelphia Bar Association; he also authors the Technology column in Trial Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)). Dan is a nationally-known writer and lecturer about technology in law offices and in litigation. Sensing the need for a firm to address the technology needs of attorneys, Dan opened Integrated Technology Services, LLC, which focuses exclusively upon ways for lawyers and legal support staff to handle cases more efficiently. An attorney since 1984, Dan serves in many technology-related positions. He is Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Law Practice Management Division and co-chairs its Practice Technology Committe. A solo practitioner, Dan chaired the Computer Committee at Anapol Schwartz in Philadelphia. Dan is also a certified Trainer for LiveNote and certified to support and train Time Matters, CaseMap, TimeMap and LegalFiles.
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