Legal eDiscovery is becoming more and more competitive and data-driven. These days, legal firms are increasingly using reporting and analytics to discover key insights, lower production costs, reduce risk, and shorten early case assessments.
With this in mind, refining your eDiscovery reporting strategy is one of the most important thing you can do to enhance your operations and prepare for legal cases.
Read on to learn what eDiscovery reporting entails and why it’s important.
What Is eDiscovery Reporting?
eDiscovery reporting refers to the process of collecting, preparing, and reviewing electronically stored information (ESI) for use in a legal case. This is one of the most critical part of the legal eDiscovery process—especially considering that eDiscovery is all about managing information for use in court.
Reporting is necessary because legal teams must move quickly during eDiscovery to meet tight deadlines and respond to requests. Unfortunately, this is often difficult while dealing with large, complex datasets. Without proper reporting capabilities in place, legal teams can fall behind and miss important deadlines, leading to suboptimal legal outcomes.
Through the eDiscovery reporting process, legal teams can quickly discover, present key insights and determine which information is relevant for the case.
To illustrate, imagine a large lawsuit involving millions of electronic documents. During an early case assessment, the legal team would first need to compile bulk information and run searches to determine what data is relevant to the matter in hand. After searching and processing data, the legal team would better understand what they are working with. Finally they can figure out how to form a strategy.
In addition, data reporting also helps legal teams determine whether they are in a position to take on a client or case.
Benefits of eDiscovery Reporting
eDiscovery reporting may seem like a hassle at first, especially for the teams that want to move quickly. That being the case, it may be tempting to jump in and start digging through the data without going through the complete reporting process.
However, eDiscovery reporting is important for several reasons, which we’ll examine in this section.
Thorough eDiscovery reporting reduces the chance of overlooking data and missing important insights. This, in turn, reduces risk. It also ensures that the legal team has a complete picture of the data they have at their disposal.
Data is very expensive to keep and process. And with this in mind, another great benefit of eDiscovery reporting is that it helps in keeping costs to a minimum. By reducing data volumes, you can lower the amount of information you need to process, export, store, and secure.
Data storage becomes a major liability for legal firms, especially when it contains sensitive information. By processing and reducing data, you can decrease the amount of information that you need to keep. In addition to reducing data storage costs, this lowers the amount of data you need to shelter from cybercriminals.
Shorten Response Time
Legal teams today face enormous pressure to conduct ECAs and prepare for legal proceedings. Early case assessments are especially important when dealing with multiple clients and cases. Efficient data reporting helps in keeping legal pipelines moving and avoid slowdowns and bottlenecks.
Become More Proactive
In addition to boosting productivity, eDiscovery reporting also helps legal teams remain proactive during cases. Processing and analyzing data ahead of time assists these teams to discover barriers and opportunities that can be useful for strategizing and preparing for court. For example, when preparing for a court battle, a legal team may discover an important set of files with dates or timestamps that conflict with the client’s statements. Knowing this information ahead of time can help prepare for cross-examinations or challenges and also anticipate upcoming problems.
There are also long-term benefits to collecting and processing eDiscovery data. Legal teams can collect key performance metrics like time to cull and review, reporting accuracy, and so on. Analyzing eDiscovery KPIs helps legal teams review progress and ensure they are improving and becoming more efficient with each legal case. This helps firms attract and retain clients, and also build a reputation as an efficient and responsive legal unit.
How Do You Report on eDiscovery?
eDiscovery reporting tends to vary depending on which platform you’re using. In general, here are the recommended stages or steps for eDiscovery reporting and analysis.
The first step is to organize your data to prepare it for processing. Your eDiscovery platform should have an in-place indexing to prevent multiple copies of data from moving forward into the production. This reduces your footprint, leading to reduced storage requirements and costs.
The platform should also have powerful data culling capabilities to automatically reduce data volumes and prepare your information for reporting. In general, you should steer clear of platforms that lack robust culling tools.
After you organize your data and reduce the volume of actionable ESI, it’s time to move forward to the investigation stage.
At this point, your team should run advanced searches and filters to discover relevant data points and string together the insights. The platform should offer comprehensive data visualization tools, reports, and dashboards. That way, you can quickly move through data and gain the insights you need to build a case or defend a client.
Once your team is comfortable with its insights, the last step is to produce the data and prepare it for sharing.
The platform should offer secure data sharing to limit unnecessary exposure and ensure that the information reaches the target recipients. Unfortunately, using third-party data exporting tools introduces security risks and increases the likelihood of data breaches.
Using Tools for eDiscovery Reporting
The eDiscovery market is full of tools that can help with eDiscovery reporting, making it difficult to choose a solution. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when procuring an eDiscovery reporting platform.
Look for Automation and AI Processing
Not all eDiscovery reporting solutions offer the same level of computational power and analysis. As such, it’s important to look for a platform that provides both automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to minimize manual tasks and speed up data processing. These features enable faster and more accurate processing and reporting.
Prioritize User Experience
When sourcing an eDiscovery platform, you also need to consider the user experience. Some platforms are buggy and difficult to navigate, which is very frustrating for the end-users. For this reason, make sure the platform you select is something your legal aids will trust and enjoy using.
Obtain a Truly Unified System
Many legal teams choose to piece together disparate collections of widgets and tools. This tends to complicate eDiscovery and creates unnecessary roadblocks and barriers.
As the best practice, your team should consider using a single, unified platform that acts as a one-stop shop for eDiscovery data processing and analysis. Having all data, tools, and users on one platform simplifies operations and results in faster and smoother processing and exporting. This also leads to a greater uptime and easier troubleshooting when issues arise.
Transform eDiscovery Reporting with Venio
Venio Systems offers a purpose-built platform for end-to-end eDiscovery management. By switching to Venio, your organization can supercharge its reporting efforts and drastically reduce the time and effort it takes to transform raw datasets into actionable, court-ready insights.
Check out Venio Systems by requesting a free demo today.
About the Author
Justin Reynolds & Akshita Singhal
This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science, and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking, and traveling. This post was reviewed and published by Akshita, Sr. Marketing Manager at Venio.