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eDisclosure can produce huge volumes of data, also known as electronically stored information (ESI). It’s impractical for a solicitor to review every item of ESI within a litigation or dispute resolution matter. There are various sophisticated and effective filtering and data culling techniques which effective for reducing data volumes, narrowing a data set before document review is initiated. These techniques drastically reduce processing and review time-frames as well as associated costs in the process.
Date Range: Ensuring that the documents viewed are solely from the time frame associated with the issue will dramatically reduce the overall number of documents. Typically, computers have documents spanning a range of years, so this crucial.
Keywords: The volume of data within an eDisclosure case can be vast. Strategic electronic keyword searches are one of many tools which can be invaluable in the reduction of data. A successful keyword search will reduce the costs to clients as well as the overall time the matter will take to review.
File Type: Limiting review to only the document file types most likely ‘user-created’ can dramatically speed up the process. For example, Office files and PDF’s. Ignoring system and multi-media files will assist in this process.
De-duplication: This ensures that you can reduce your data set to only one unique and relevant copy when culling the overall data. Failing to do this will inevitably increase the time spent reviewing as well as costs.
Custodians: Only collecting and reviewing data from the individuals you know are involved in a case can speed up the process. This can be expanded further down the line to incorporate an increased number of custodians; however, best practice is to ‘collect wide and review small’.
The following is a brief, step by step case study of a data reduction exercise completed for a client.
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