Avoiding Flotsam in Large Volumes of Data

By on December 1, 2015

Jim Gill, Exterro Inc.

A recent survey finds that searching through vast amounts of electronically stored information for responsive data is the number one challenge for both IT and legal teams. Other problems include developing search criteria for determining document relevancy, using in-house e-discovery search collection software effectively, and working with third-party collection/processing providers.

Many legal teams don’t have search tools to help with e-discovery, or they have a combination of tools from different vendors. Even with search tools, a knowledge of correct keywords and stopwords, as well as indexing various forms of ESI (email attachments, embedded audio, metadata) is required.

The author suggests getting all players in the process working together as soon as possible, and creating an e-discovery liason role. The difference between an efficient search and useless time spent looking through irrelevant data often comes down to understanding Boolean logic and using it effectively, understanding nuances of date-filtering and other metadata, having a process for searching folders and files with no clear custodian, and making attorneys aware of what is required for a successful search.

One game-changing tool, as cited by the e-discovery director of the largest health insurer in the U.S, is called In-Place Search. It is said to analyze data in its native environment to help expose critical ESI before organizations are forced to collect. This condenses the traditional flow of the e-discovery reference model moving analysis, so that analysis and search happen simultaneously.

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