Ediscovery has become a necessity within the legal profession rather than an occasional novelty. The powerful capabilities of electronic discovery are very impressive, and can benefit your company even more so by focusing on several key qualities.
1. Powerful Search Function
Any electronic discovery tool must be able to collect all the data you could need as evidence, and also have comprehensive search capabilities. This includes searching not only active files but archived data as well, and by multiple factors: concepts as well as words or phrases. Results should be delivered quickly and in an easily understandable format.
Searching data isn’t enough; you also need a system for keeping all that gathered information organized and easily accessible. Make sure your ediscovery tool is capable of indexing files and documents, or create a dedicated database from scratch. File conversion capability is a necessary part of this process.
Your platform must be able to handle large amounts of data. Very often in data mining, one gem uncovered leads to entirely new trails. A low-capacity system will quickly become irrelevant and frustrating.
The electronic discovery service provider you choose should also be an economical choice. The stronger your return on investment, the less money is tied up in the discovery process which may be better allocated elsewhere.
The more user-friendly a program is, the more positively it will impact your ROI. Although you want a comprehensive search and analysis potential, you also want it quickly and with a minimum of specialized training.
Usability should not, however, come at the cost of functionality. Your ediscovery has to be able to manage complex projects efficiently, including data from a variety of sources: spreadsheets and documents as well as emails.
Any electronic discovery software used must be compatible with other software your legal team may already be using, so data conversion capability is a must. Data should be able to be converted into other formats easily, including images or text.
Compatibility of your discovery software is essential not only with other litigation software you may be using but also with your legal team. Any program used has to be in alignment with the requirements of you and your staff. This includes data format, general manageability, and other user-end qualities which are necessary to you.
9. Preservation of Data Integrity
If the integrity of your data is called into question, all electronic discovery efforts will be wasted effort. Your ediscovery tool must ensure total preservation of all original data.
The Big Picture
Although naming specifics is easy, it’s important to remember to look at the big picture as well. A good ediscovery tool will enhance defensibility, accelerate case assessment and contribute to a significant reduction in review workload. Investigations should be completed more quickly, and data must be collected and searchable, without its integrity being called into question. These qualities, plus compatibility with your existing team and methods, are what ultimately define the ideal ediscovery tool.