Your single source for new lessons on legal technology, e-discovery, and the people innovating behind the scenes.

4 Ways Government Agencies Can Combat Big Data Challenges

Meredith Perry

Editor's Note: First published way back in 2018, our team has revised and updated this information for today's agencies. We hope it's useful!

Government agencies aren’t immune to big data. While their protocols, use cases, and pain points are unique, they share a bond with corporations as they search for the truth within heaps of information. These agencies are turning to innovative solutions to support the new age of investigations and FOIA requests.

While these tools were created for litigation, they offer the capabilities, speed, and security the government needs when handling investigations, FOIA requests, PRA requests, and legislative inquiries.

Here are four ways agencies can combat big data challenges and exceed agency expectations.

1. Investigating Audio and Video Files

When a government agency is running an investigation, especially law enforcement agencies, there’s a high likelihood audio and video files will be up for review. Whether it’s phone calls, wire taps, or video surveillance, listening to and watching every single file can take weeks.

Fortunately, tools like Veritone Legal can help process and analyze unstructured audio and video files in the effort to shorten that timeline. The solution can transcribe audio and video, allowing you to view the media file along with its transcription and is easily integrated into workflows in RelativityOne.

2. Analyzing Mobile, Social Media and Enterprise Messaging Data

A decade ago, it was rare for social media data to be involved in an investigation or legal matter. Now, over 69 percent of US adults use social media, including the five most recent US presidents. Mobile and enterprise chat platforms add another layer of complexity to an investigation if it’s related to an individual’s job.

Whether or not we realize it, more and more communication is happening in these new short message data formats—from SMS to social media to making comments to colleagues when collaborating on a document. This information has become absolutely critical for government investigators to understand their suspects and cases.

Reviewing, analyzing, and producing data from mobile, social media and enterprise messaging sources can be difficult. To ease the process, agencies should use RelativityOne Government’s end-to-end short message capabilities and constantly growing integrations with the data sources. These capabilities will ensure that investigators will get the evidence they need from these ever-changing and growing data sources and drive big efficiencies into their litigation and investigative workflows, from data ingestion, to analytics, review, redactions, and productions.

3. Identifying the Facts that Matter in an Ever-growing Data Set

Short message isn’t the only type of data that’s growing. Statista estimates that the total volume of data created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide will grow to 120 zetabytes by 2023; that’s three times the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. With the explosion in both the amount and variety of data, legal professionals need the assistance of advanced AI.

RelativityOne Government’s technology-assisted review features are fully integrated into data review workflows to assist legal professionals in finding the data most relevant to the case. TextIQ for Privilege uses advanced AI to identify privileged information and personally identifiable information, automating the redaction process with better speed and accuracy than with just manual review by legal professionals. Also, coming in 2023 to RelativityOne Government is Translate, designed to improve the speed and simplicity of translating foreign language information.

4. No FOIA Software? No Problem. e-Discovery Has You Covered.

Hundreds of thousands of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are made each year to access government information. Last year, the government received nearly 840,000 FOIA requests.

When an agency receives each request, it’s probable that the document or record includes confidential and personally identifiable information (PII) that needs to be redacted before responding. Even with more than 5,000 full-time FOIA employees, it’s time consuming to review all the necessary documents to ensure the correct redactions are made.

Many may not realize that the FOIA workflow can very easily be handled with end-to-end e-discovery software like RelativityOne Government, eliminating the need to acquire additional FOIA software. RelativityOne Government’s redaction application, Redact, will automatically redact documents based on criteria set by the user. Created for attorneys, this tool can also be a lifesaver for anyone responding to a FOIA request.

Your Questions about RelativityOne Government, Answered

Meredith Perry is a senior sales engineer at Relativity, focusing on public sector customers.