Common eDiscovery Terms & Definitions Part 2

Electronic Discovery is an industry where both technological competence and legal literacy are major players. Discovery and information governance is at the core of modern litigation, making it more important than ever to familiarize yourself with the buzz words being used in the space. To aid in that, here is our second batch of common eDiscovery, forensics, and hosting words that will help up your game.

Machine LearningMachine learning is an area of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers to self-learn, without the need for permission which is structured by a programmed set of rules. 
MetadataMetadata is a fact-based summary of a document detailing everything from the time of creation to the author or title of the document. A common saying is that metadata is data about data.
Native FilesNative Files are files in the native, or original, format that they were created. This means that no conversion has occurred. If the file was originally built on Microsoft Word, then the native file for that document would be in Microsoft Word. This is important during the document review and production stages because native file types have a higher level of reliability and hash identification.
NormalizationConverting ESI into a standardized format rather than native format for more streamlined review. 
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, which is the process of technology scanning a document, identifying text and characters within the document, and assigning searchable values to the text. OCR is commonly used to convert scanned images of physical pages into searchable electronic text. 
Predictive CodingCategorizing documents through a tagging system across a data set to increase accuracy with repeated analysis. 
Preservation LetterA preservation letter is a formal notice to the opposing counsel to preserve specified data that could be relevant to your case. Also known as a legal hold, preservation should both identify custodians as well as which data sources they wish to preserve. For reference on what goes into a preservation letter see: Data Mapping.  
ProductionIn eDiscovery, production has a few meanings. In the initial stages of discovery, production is the process of preparing files to be “produced” to be given to opposing counsel. On the other end, production also refers to the actual act of producing files for court both in viewable e-formats and traditional printed exhibits.  
RedactThe intentional deletion or concealment of data or information that is considered sensitive or confidential in nature. 
SearchThe process of examining a data set according to a specific query or criteria. May be conceptual or keyword-based.
Special Operators: Boolean & Proximity Search Used to identify relationships between strings of words through connecting terms such as AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR.  
SpoliationSpoliation it The alteration or destruction of relevant evidence, or the failure to preserve relevant evidence when litigation is likely or already underway. 
Structured DataElectronically stored information that is maintained in a structured format such as a database. 
Technology Assisted Review (TAR)TAR stands for technology assisted review, which is the process where legal reviewers utilize technology such as machine learning, ai, and predictive coding to analyze large amounts of data with a systematical advantage. 
Unstructured DataElectronically stored information that resides in various unstructured formats, such as word processing documents kept on a hard drive. 

If you missed part 1 of the ongoing common eDiscovery terms series you can go back and revisit that word bank here: Common E-Discovery Terms & Definitions Part 1