Evaluating future consumption for the diverse set of services that we lump into the category of “e-discovery services” is a daunting task in organizations with heavy litigation burdens. Luckily, someone else already measured your consumption. Somewhere in the supply chain resulting in you or your outside counsel gaining access to your discovery-focused data, it was measured and recorded. Your internal IT team may serve as your data collector. Often, internal IT functions can provide pre- and post-collection data volume information; and nearly as often, it can provide this information even after the collection function is performed. Your historical outside counsel will have a cross-section of metrics for as long as they maintain your case files.
Gather and normalize your data. You will quickly discover that while each group (whether IT, law firm or outside legal services partner) measures, they may measure slightly different things. Think logically about whether your data is representative. Solid but non-representative data will still lead you astray in decision making. Procure through a model that anticipates outliers. The fear of “burst” fees causes organizations to over purchase; and that spending is wasteful. Look for a model that allows you to scale without penalty even if your recognized economies of scale plateau.
Outsource the work of data gathering, compare like and meaningful data points, and buy through a flexible, planned model. This common-sense process bridges the gap between your organization and meaningful, data-driven controls on your e-discovery spend.