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Which of Your e-Discovery Workflows are Primed for Change?

Sam Bock

Litigation review has changed immensely in the last 20, 10, and even five years. We’ve moved from Bates stamps to OCR, to email threading and judicially accepted technology-assisted review. The goal has always been simple: make this tedious process more efficient and less expensive.

If you haven’t taken time in the last six months to evaluate your workflows, you might already be falling behind—especially since the time between identifying an opportunity for improvement and implementing change can stretch when litigation support, attorneys, reviewers, and clients might all need to be informed and trained accordingly. (And maybe even IT, if you’re not already leveraging a SaaS solution.)

So here’s your chance. These areas of your e-discovery strategy might benefit from a little remodeling.

Digging into Diverse Data

In a Big Data world, new types of information are rushing in from every direction. Are they starting to pop up in your cases in new and daunting ways? The legal ramifications are always in motion, but it's important to know how to access and address these data types as they emerge in your projects.

Consider these three areas to identify where you might need a crash course:

Learn how to access new types of data. As organizations grow more global and more collaborative, new types of data are becoming commonplace. Sources like Slack, WhatsApp, and Snapchat aren’t unheard of in civil litigation anymore—so you need to know how to incorporate them into your e-discovery workflows.

Take a Deeper Dive: Check out this blog post on the basics of social media data.

Work with your data more holistically. New types of data might be interesting to explore, but they're just one part of a larger story. Use techniques that help you gather insights from across your data set and build an effective case strategy that incorporates it all.

Take a Deeper Dive: Watch this “Working with Transcripts in Relativity” on-demand training video.

Use early case assessment (ECA) to cut down on noise. If you’re not on the ECA bandwagon yet, now is the time. This process can save time, effort, and money by giving you a bird’s-eye view of your data right from the start of your case. That means you’ll be able to narrow in on what matters sooner.

Take a Deeper Dive: Read our coverage from the Relativity Fest 2018 session “A Bazooka to a Knife Fight: Practical Technology to Enhance Your ECA Workflow.”

Employing Analytics

Perhaps the most game-changing technology to impact review in the last decade has been text analytics. With both conceptual and structural tools to help you understand and organize huge data sets more quickly, this family of workflow enhancers is a no-brainer.

Whether you’re already employing analytics or not, these tactics will ensure you make the most of these tools moving forward:

Apply analytics to data in which you’re personally invested. As much as you love your job, it’s tough to find creative inspiration in gigabytes of financial data. Get more ideas flowing about how to implement analytics in your workflows by playing around with data that interests you. You might try uploading your email archive, for example, or movie reviews.

Take a Deeper Dive: Find ways to be more creative with your analytics workflows.

Up your game with active learning. Technology-assisted review (TAR) has been growing ever more popular in e-discovery, and for good reason: its impact on bottom lines can be pretty incredible. Active learning is a new workflow option for Relativity Assisted Review, and it means you can leverage TAR on more of your projects.

Take a Deeper Dive: Learn more about when and how to use active learning.

Evangelize analytics among your team. The biggest hurdle to a technical investment is sometimes gathering buy-in from colleagues and decision makers in your organization. You can’t garner value from a tool or workflow that the practitioner doesn't understand.

Take a Deeper Dive: Read “4 Ways to Get Your Case Team Hooked on Analytics.”

Training and Enabling Your e-Discovery Team

A strong team is the key to a successful e-discovery strategy. You need colleagues who can hit the ground running on each case, knowing no two projects are the same—and who will be open to ongoing training that will help your organization stay ahead of the curve.

Keep your colleagues engaged and educated using these strategies:

Down with the dry and droll trainings. Even hands-on trainings can get dull from time to time, and lecture-based sessions can be even worse. Make sure you add some creativity to your training efforts so that attendees are excited to see what’s up your sleeve—and ready to learn what you’re there to teach.

Take a Deeper Dive: Read our coverage of the “Make it Fun! Bringing Creativity to Relativity Training” session from Relativity Fest 2018 to discover how to delight your learners.

Create a user-friendly environment. If your colleagues and review team members consistently have a smooth experience in the software they’re using, chances are good they'll be excited to learn more about the platform. Make sure your workspaces are built to be simple to use and pleasant to explore.

Take a Deeper Dive: Learn how moving to a SaaS solution can improve your user experience with automatic updates, reliable performance, and more.

Bonus Opportunity: Go Beyond e-Discovery

You’ve invested time, money, and creativity into your e-discovery toolbox. Even if your review strategy is on point, you can do more with that investment by tackling new challenges with the tools already at your disposal.

Take a Deeper Dive: Read up on how other companies are leveraging their existing tools in new ways; it could inspire your team to tackle new challenges with the software you already know. You can even host a hackathon for your organization: challenge teams to come up with something great, and use these tips to pick your winner.

See How Your e-Discovery Strategy Compares to Your Peers'

Sam Bock is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.