Last month LexisNexis 
announced a new release of Lexis Advance which offered customers enhanced news
services and legislative insights. Legislative Outlook offers predictive
analytics and data visualization for proposed legislation.  Legislative
Outlook will be available  at no charge to subscribers through November
30, 2016, except where a gratis subscription is precluded by law (e.g. Federal
Jeff Pfeifer Vice President of
Product Management for North American  described Lexis Advance as  “offering
lawyers powerful analytics solutions to deliver insights behind the raw data.”
Legislative Outlook Gauge
appears with the text of a bill and bill tracking documents.  A special
Lexis  algorithm analyzes historic and current legislative patterns, key
probability indicators ( e.g. who is the sponsor)  in order to forecast
probable outcome. The algorithms assessment is displayed using an icon which
looks like a an automobile gas gauge signaling the likelihood of passage.
Legislative Outlook
Legislative Progress Bar provides
a visual representation of the status of a bill.
The Legislative Outlook in
document analyzes each phase of the legislative process and provides a
detailed overview of the bill including political details, sponsor detail and
forecast factors.
 News Enhancements in Lexis
Advance –
LexisNexis which has always boasted a superb news offering  has
finally migrated this deep archive to Lexis Advance. The collection includes
news sources dating back 60 years to the 196p’s. Lexis has been building an
archive of exclusive content from premier news outlets and specialty legal and
business publishers through a series of alliance and acquisitions. Exclusive
sources include The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal
and the American lawyer Media publications. One of my favorite new features is
an obscure source called the Wenn Archive which includes photographs dating
back to the 1960’s.
 Additional Developments include:
Explore Content feature is a bridge between and Lexis Advance
Back of the Book Indices from their Matthew Bender treatises.
Document Segments –  users can speed research and narrow results by using
over 60  new document segments.
Lexis Practice Advisor: Forms Index – allows users to locate forms by practice
and form type and key work. There is also an alphabetical index of all forms.
Lexis Advance Mobile App  has been updated and includes the full news archive.
IPad users have more delivery options
 One Search Does Not Fit All
Search has come a long way  in the past 50 years. Early Lexis required a researcher to execute a series of specific “commands” to perform every action and search required Boolean operators used in a specific syntax. I am grateful that those days are gone, but the rush to develop the perfect search engine has often ignored the power of facts and descriptors.
 There are some who
believe that one algorithm is good enough for all research across all types of
content. I am in the opposing camp. I am in the hybrid camp. I want strong
algorithm that can be fine-tuned with the use of segments  and facets.
 All of the major legal research providers offer “natural language”
algorithms. Thomson Reuters  Westlaw Next, BloombergBNA and Wolters Kluwer
Cheetah all rely primarily on algorithms to meet the demands
of  “google generation”  users. Yet they all supplement their algorithms by allowing
“power searchers” to custom focus their search using fields, descriptors and facets of
various kinds. I applaud Lexis  for taking bulking up their segments with 60 new facets to support the
sophisticated research needs of information professionals.