In litigation, the discovery process requires that both parties investigate and exchange electronic documents that are important to the case. eDiscovery software was developed specifically for this purpose. But what is eDiscovery software? How does it work?
What is eDiscovery in law, and what benefits can it offer to law experts?
In this article, we will answer these questions and provide a detailed explanation of electronic discovery software.
What Is eDiscovery Software?
eDiscovery software is a special computer or SaaS program that automates the discovery of electronic legal documents. It helps teams of legal professionals review and present documents important to the investigation.
What does eDiscovery software do?
eDiscovery software empowers legal professionals by improving their speed and efficiency in uncovering legal documents.
Using it, they can find and recover information from sources like:
- Social media accounts
- In-house servers
- Cloud servers
- Smartphone messages
- Other databases
Because of the large amounts of digital data circulating the internet today, it would be extremely difficult to perform a legal investigation without this type of software.
eDicovery software can be very complex, but there are many eDiscovery examples that may help simplify it.
They ensure the safety and security of important information while accessing them for the purpose of litigation in a simple and effective way.
Notable Features of eDiscovery Software
Regardless of the fact that eDiscovery software applications come in computer and SaaS-based forms, they share similar features and capabilities.
Here are some of the most important ones.
The ability to analyze original and nested data
One of the basic functions of eDiscovery software is its ability to read and analyze original document formats.
This means that the software must be capable of identifying, reviewing, and extracting all the vital information from different file types.
Not only that, but it must also be able to analyze nested subdirectories of files. This is because many documents may come in a ZIP file format, containing other file types, password-protected files, etc.
The ability to tag and organize data
An eDiscovery software must also be able to organize and tag document files.
The goal is to let the software classify hundreds or even thousands of documents for different recovery purposes.
For example, tagging semantically linked documents together will make it easier to retrieve them later for a specific purpose. This purpose can be to export them in bulk, convert them to another format, or generate a report based on the information they contain.
These tags are often parameter keywords, such as “Relevant”, “Irrelevant”, “Prioritized”, etc. They are imputed into the software by legal experts.
It implements machine-learning technology
A frequent and very useful feature of eDiscovery software programs is their ability to use machine learning techniques to find and extract data.
The most widely used machine learning form that these programs use is called “predictive coding”.The so-called predictive coding is able to find and analyze relevant documents quicker than traditional keyword research.
When is this feature useful?
In cases where there are large sets of data with thousands of documents, it is easier and faster to use predictive coding rather than having human researchers go through each document individually.
The ability to perform detailed searches
Once it analyzes the original or nested documents, an eDiscovery software can have the ability to create a search index.
The search index is like a collection of terms put together in a virtual list so that it can be used later to locate specific information inside the data.
This gives the software the ability to perform:
- Boolean searches
- Fuzzy searches
- Proximity searches
- Field searches
Each of these search methods is often integrated into high-end eDiscovery platforms. They enable detailed data filtering and reviewing.
Types of eDiscovery Software Solutions
There are two main types of eDiscovery software – on-premise and cloud-based.
On-premise eDiscovery software
On-premise eDiscovery software is installed at the company’s physical location. It is accessible from inside the company’s network and has an in-house team of IT specialists managing it.
Even though this sounds like a safer choice, this software type has its limitations.
In order for the software to operate efficiently, the company has to invest in workforce, technology, and storage, which will result in increased costs.
Software updates are also done manually and need to be uploaded frequently.
Cloud-based eDiscovery software
Cloud-based eDiscovery software is installed on a remote server location.
There are many benefits to this type of eDiscovery software:
- It can be accessed from anywhere through the internet
- There is no local installation
- The seller manages the software’s updates
- It provides more storage and processing power
- Every piece of data is stored remotely on the “cloud”
However, there is a crucial downside to this type of eDiscovery software, and that is security.
While leveraging cloud-based SaaS solutions presents numerous advantages, it’s crucial for customers to acknowledge the inherent security considerations associated with these platforms. Assessing a vendor’s commitment to robust security measures becomes pivotal in mitigating potential risks.
The uninterrupted connectivity inherent in cloud services does expose systems to security vulnerabilities. It’s imperative for customers to evaluate whether vendors implement stringent security protocols. Despite robust firewall systems and encryption algorithms in place, the risk of unauthorized access to company data persists. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of a vendor’s security measures is essential to safeguard sensitive information.
Benefits of eDiscovery Software
What is eDiscovery software if not made to simplify and automate the review and extraction of important legal documents?
Here are some of the best benefits you can expect from using eDiscovery technology.
- It’s cost-effective – using eDiscovery software is more cost-effective than employing additional workforce to analyze large amounts of data.
- It’s quick, accurate, and efficient – eDiscovery technology, along with predictive coding, can quickly and accurately sift through data with minimal mistakes. This makes the entire process shorter, allowing legal experts to be timely prepared for the litigation.
- It’s scalable – using a SaaS eDiscovery software also results in greater scalability. It means that you can expand your business and not worry about running out of data storage space. You also won’t need to employ additional IT experts to run the software.
- It’s secure – using high-end eDiscovery software also means top-notch security for all the files and documents in its database.
Who Is eDiscovery Software Meant For?
Law experts and corporate legal departments are the ones who use eDiscovery software most frequently.
With its help, they are able to navigate large amounts of digital legal documentation quickly and more effectively.
Beyond using eDiscovery software for litigation purposes, it can also be used in other situations and by other entities.
Federal agencies and the legal experts who work for them can find the use of eDiscovery software beneficial.
State and local governments can also use eDiscovery tools for discovering documents. It can help them automate workflows of demanding operations. They can also use this type of software to improve the collaboration of teams between state sectors.
eDiscovery has become a go-to solution for large data analysis and review. It helps automate the entire process of document storage, management, and review. And what is eDiscovery software, if not the tool used to make that possible?
By providing an overview of digital discovery software, we were able to emphasize the importance of eDiscovery.
We hope that now it’s clear how the eDiscovery software works and the benefits that it provides.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.