1. Location, Location, Location

With law firms identified as a high-risk target for cybercrime, it is imperative that they be able to store their clients’ e-discovery data either on-premises behind their firewalls or in the cloud, as the case needs to dictate. Many clients even require that the data in highly confidential cases be stored on hardware that has no internet connectivity, which means that data may only reside on a single computer or laptop. That also means your e-discovery platform needs to be able to fit on that hardware. If a vendor is pushing you to put all of your data in the cloud or providing a solution that is only cloud-based, you might want to ask whose needs they are serving.

Additionally, with the increasingly global nature of business and different rules regarding data privacy in each country, e-discovery data may need to reside in a specific geographic location or across multiple locations. Your e-discovery vendor needs to be able to provide data centers or other solutions in situ (such as a mobile option) within geographically diverse locations that will meet your specific needs from a security, compliance and business standpoint.

2. Workflow Automation

From early case assessment to production, there are many workflows involved in e-discovery. Having a system that automates as many of those workflows as possible is crucial to keeping things flowing as a case progresses. Wizards to walk through the numerous steps help ensure nothing gets missed. However, you don’t want to be locked into specific workflows that do not work with your e-discovery processes. You need the right blend of automation with the flexibility to meet the specific needs of a particular case, business, or firm.

Speaking of automation, an e-discovery platform that provides dashboards and other tools to visualize your data and then drill into the bits of information at a granular level saves time and money by helping you hone down to the critical case data quickly or locate problematic data sources during the ingesting and processing phase of a case. For humans processing data, a picture really is worth a thousand words, and, with billable hours still driving things in legal, time really is money.

3. Machine Learning

Modern litigation support demands an e-discovery platform that embraces machine learning. With massive increases in the amount of electronic data involved in litigation, this is becoming an imperative. Fortunately, these technology solutions are now more viable than ever.

Because it is learning from human reviewers and doesn’t require the length of time necessary to build a training model that technology-assisted review (TAR) does, continuous active learning, or CAL, may finally overcome attorneys’ resistance to the use of computer-aided prediction within a dataset.

Additionally, active learning solutions like VenioOne update dynamically as new data is processed and reviewed versus a static training model with TAR. If you want to consider the potential cost savings and magic of CAL, imagine reviewing as little as 10% of your dataset and having CAL predict the rest. This is now a reality with the use of machine learning in modern e-discovery software like VenioOne.

4. Multiple Entry Points

We have become accustomed to having access to our data and tools from anywhere at any time, so why should our e-discovery software be any different? E-discovery platforms are used by people with several different roles in a case, so they need to provide both flexibility and specificity in their user interfaces.

Someone managing an e-discovery project has very different needs than a reviewer. For example, wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple mobile application for checking the status on data ingestion from your phone rather than having to rely on a laptop and wi-fi or VPN connection?

On the other hand, reviewers need an interface in their document review software that allows them to focus on the items to be reviewed and do things like arranging and “pop out” windows on multiple displays, so they can easily tag them.

As the first point of contact with data, paralegals and attorneys need a simple self-service interface for uploading data, so they do not have to rely on FTP file transfers for getting their data where it needs to be – VenioOne OnDemand is exactly such an interface.

Attorneys reviewing more complex matters requiring advanced analytics and active learning have different needs than attorneys with smaller matters where their requirement is to do a quick review and coding of a few hundred documents, which leads us into our final must-have item.

5. Scalability

Flexible data storage and the speed with which that data can be processed and accessed have always been primary considerations for e-discovery projects, but with larger and larger volumes of data, it is more important now than ever. e-discovery vendors must be able to provide the level of technology on the back end that is needed to support a specific job size at a cost that is not prohibitive. Spinning up a server on a moment’s notice is sometimes the reality of fast-paced litigation. Having a platform that can flex with your needs and provide the speed, processing power, and agility you need is a must.

On the other hand, you don’t need a monolithic beast of a platform for your simpler matters or a quick early case assessment. You need something that will quickly let you load and get to the information you need. Having a single unified platform that is capable of handling matters of all sizes is a great benefit, especially when you consider the learning curve to master multiple platforms and technical expertise required to manage integrations with other platforms.

Ultimately, your e-discovery platform should be agile enough to easily manage both more and less complex discovery requirements at a cost that matches the level of your needs.