You know that “nice-to-haves” list? Predictive coding, email threading, TAR, dedupe technology. Today, these “extras” are swiftly becoming non-negotiables.
We all leave behind a trail of evidence in our digital lives. Processing this sheer volume of electronically stored information (ESI) when the need arises can be complicated enough, but it’s what happens afterward that is most difficult: making sense of it all. We’ve finally reached the era in which the majority of legal professionals feel confident in and comfortable with relying on technology for much of their Discovery efforts, but to what level they use those technologies to gain insight into the data varies wildly.
The fact is, the pre-litigation process now requires teams to build a case from evidence that exists in the infinitely expanding digital world and the eDiscovery best practices that once were sufficient are no longer enough. Take traditional keyword searching as an example. Today, the data volumes make the practice nearly useless. Even if it’s done with the utmost precision, the quality of the results is often abysmal or lacking at best. And do you truly know what you are leaving behind?
While some eDiscovery professionals are concerned about efficiency-boosting technologies cutting into billable hours or eliminating jobs, reality paints a very different picture. Benefits of becoming more efficient include gaining a competitive edge and realizing more time for teams to do valuable, knowledge work rather than searching through non-relevant data. More specifically, using the latest technology to improve eDiscovery efficiency can:
- Speed early case assessment with a more accurate scope, allowing teams to determine potential cost and staffing requirements, and even whether the case is viable or not.
- Reduce data volumes by honing in on what really matters.
- Reduce cost by increasing the efficiency and thus the productivity of the legal team.
- Eliminate errors with a more consistent approach to document coding.
- Make meeting deadlines and budget that much more likely.
- Result in more satisfied (and therefore repeat) clients.
- Differentiate your firm or company in the marketplace.
Today, efficiency is the name of the game. Some of the well-established tools that can reduce costs and improve transparency include:
- Email threading
- Near-dupe detection
- Language identification
- Metadata filtering
- Conceptual analytics that provide clustering, concept searching or categorization
- Predictive coding or TAR workflow using analytics
- Timeline visualizations
- Communication or sentiment analysis
Simply put, review is already near-impossible to do accurately, quickly and within budget without some of these tools and it will only get tougher as the amount of data increases. Inefficiency means hours of sifting through ESI for relevancy or spending money outsourcing the job to someone else. Efficiency-boosters can not only save time and money but also provide new levels of insight that will only make facts clearer and strategies stronger.