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6 Common Misconceptions About Electronically Stored Information

  • Tom Wood
  • October 5, 2021

The collective assumptions about electronically stored information (ESI) in eDiscovery are often inaccurate. These misconceptions keep some businesses from adopting the technology that will help them identify, gather, review and produce ESI. If you’re unsure how eDiscovery software works to manage ESI, then start by learning these facts:

Why are there misconceptions about ESI?

ESI is a broad term and includes many types of documents and data. This, in itself, can cause confusion. Since the term first appeared in the 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, there have also been rule changes. There are also multiple phases of ESI in eDiscovery, including collection and processing, early case assessment, analysis and review, and production.

As a result of the expansiveness of the term and the multipart processes, misconceptions are typical.

Misconception 1: eDiscovery is only effective for “big” cases.

eDiscovery is part of any case, big or small. Even the most minor cases can generate thousands of documents and data. After all, the world creates 1.145 trillion megabytes of data every day.

Additionally, those documents can be in various formats and structures, which means even the “little” cases would require many hours of manual review. That can impact your organization’s ability to keep up with eDiscovery.

The alternative is to use eDiscovery software to process the ESI and ensure a more efficient workflow with reduced document review.

Misconception 2: eDiscovery software for ESI is too complex.

Another reason that companies are hesitant about using eDiscovery software is because they believe it’s too complicated to deploy and use. That can certainly be the case with some systems, which require credentialing to master, which would include completing training to earn a certification. However, there are end-to-end platforms that are intuitive, easy to use, and make eDiscovery tasks simple. That’s why it’s crucial to compare eDiscovery products to find the right fit.

Misconception 3: Using eDiscovery for ESI management is outside your budget.

If it comes down to the numbers, you may be surprised that a good eDiscovery solution can deliver a much higher ROI than the actual spend on software. That’s especially true if you outsource all or some eDiscovery.

Look at your current costs associated with outsourcing and factor in the time to deliver the data to that vendor with turn-around process time, the cost and time of reprocessing the errors and/or missed data and documents, and the cost of risk mitigation due to data sprawl. By taking more of the process in-house, you’ll save money, and you won’t strain your resources either.

Misconception 4: ESI from various sources is impossible to aggregate.

ESI can live in many different locations, media, file types and sources, including Microsoft Teams, Slack and social media platforms. Indexing all this data in place or processing it to have the case-relevant information in a single repository sounds impossible. Maybe you tried it before with integrations, and it just didn’t work.

With the right platform, this isn’t a hurdle that burdens you. You can gather case-relevant information from disparate systems into one central space. Also, if all you need is a way to search this data, then in-place indexing in modern eDiscovery solutions can accelerate the process.

Misconception 5: You don’t need eDiscovery software; you’ve got other tools.

While you may have existing tools in place, are they working for you? For example, using Adobe to search isn’t effective, and it has redacting limitations; as well as using email archiving to filter proves inadequate and misses metadata.

While this technology is helpful, it doesn’t have the power of a professional eDiscovery software to help you prepare for litigation requiring you to index, process, and analyze ESI. 

Misconception 6: eDiscovery excludes personal data.

Personal data is part of the eDiscovery process, including from mobile devices and computers. This data does need protection from a breach, but it’s not inaccessible. A competent solution will provide you a way to identify and redact the PII and other sensitive data including your trade secrets, IP, and other information that should be legally protected. Additionally, your team can still access it securely depending on how you set up the solution in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid construct.

What can you gain by using an eDiscovery platform to process ESI?

Now that we’ve cleared up the misconceptions about ESI in eDiscovery, what benefits can you expect to achieve?

  • Faster ESI processing
  • Automation of workflows to save time
  • Leveraging AI to reduce document review volume
  • Enterprise-grade security to protect data
  • Fast deployments
  • An easy-to-use, intuitive user experience that doesn’t require advanced technical aptitude

Clear up ESI misconceptions and adopt eDiscovery.

With this information, you can feel confident taking the next step in adopting eDiscovery software in-house. Venio Systems makes it fast and easy to implement our platform (on-premises or in the cloud) so that you can take advantage of all the benefits quickly.

Experience how it works by requesting a demo.