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How e-Discovery Data Gets Thrifty with Innovation Awards Winner Kroll Ontrack

Liz Durkin

We closed out another Relativity Fest with a ceremony celebrating the finalists and winners of the 2015 Relativity Innovation Awards. Judges selected one Best Law Firm Solution and one Best Service Provider Solution that took the platform to the next level with new applications that directly impact business strategy for their organizations. The new Community Choice category also received traction from the Relativity community, with more than 4,000 votes cast by e-discovery professionals supporting their favorite finalists.

We had a chance to sit down with Wendy King, product director at Kroll Ontrack, to learn more about the genesis of their winning solution—Kroll Ontrack’s nearline—and get some tips on creating workflows that streamline review.

Liz: What business problem does your solution solve?

Wendy: Nearline addresses the costs and data volumes that are stifling organizations when reviewing documents—it’s about providing clients with more control. This is super critical in a world where the amount of data created each day is astronomical and a lot extraneous data gets pulled into legal matters as a matter of course. Nearline has proven itself to help our clients set aside that data and focus on what matters.

How does it work?

Users can easily identify and set aside (nearline) non-critical data on demand, and retrieve nearline data in a similar, on-demand manner, without reprocessing and with work product intact. The nearline application sits in a Relativity workspace, where users can view nearline sets and documents within the set. There's also reporting that provides full visibility into all nearline and retrieve activity being completed.

What sparked your decision to build your own solution?


It’s no secret that the data universe continues to explode, and along with that, the data involved in legal matters, compliance requests, or investigations. Just like the expression “time is money,” in the world of e-discovery, data volumes are money, too. Our decision to develop nearline is rooted in our desire to help organizations reduce their active storage volumes and thus reduce the associated costs with the business practice of e-discovery.

In addition to controlling data volumes, we’ve found that nearline also addresses workspace efficiency. For example, when a user sets aside a large chunk of data they don’t need at that point in time, it naturally declutters the workspace. This has two benefits: You can hone in on relevant data more quickly and—because nearline data is not included in content searches or Relativity Analytics—your search speed and performance improves.

How has this solution impacted your workflows and your clients?

Nearline has provided clients with more control over their workflows, in part because of the ease of use. The simplicity of setting aside data not needed at a given point in the review—without worrying about the time and complexity to bring that data back if it’s needed later—allows for more flexible and nimble review workflows. It really opens up the possibilities of streamlined and focused reviews.

What is the roadmap for your application? Anything you can share?

We are looking at expanding the application for centralized management of frequently reused data in multiple matters. In nearline, we’d like to provide insight into historical work product, synchronize new work product, and bring specific matter information back to the central repository after the matter ends.

What tips do you have for other teams embarking on a development effort of their own?

The best tip we can give is to leverage the open platform and usability of Relativity at the forefront of your development efforts. We’ve found that, by keeping our application seamlessly integrated with the Relativity UI, an individual who has knowledge of Relativity can learn how to use nearline in a matter of minutes. So not only are we able to build our own solutions, we’re also able to implement them quickly this way.

What lessons have you learned from building this solution? Any “Aha!” moments?

We knew how easy it is to build a basic application in Relativity, and that the open platform also allowed for more complex solutions. But when we got started, we quickly learned that those aren’t mutually exclusive. We really saw how well things come together to create a seamless, intuitive, and robust application.

Coming up, we’ll also feature an interview with Best Law Firm Solution winner Reilly Pozner to learn more about their innovation.

Wendy King is a product director of Kroll Ontrack Relativity, overseeing and providing leadership for global product strategy, product roadmap and requirements, product launches, competitive modeling, and intelligence gathering.