The challenge for any legal professional approaching a complex discovery matter is to parse through the mountains of potentially relevant electronically stored information to gain insight and build a narrative that supports their arguments with evidence. Today’s powerful eDiscovery platforms and analytics engines help with the heavy lifting, but they still require user input and human interpretation to tell the story behind the data.
eDiscovery platforms display data in myriad ways, the most common of which are basic grid views of documents with relevant metadata and searchable extracted text. It’s up to platform users, with varying levels of technical expertise, to drive these tools to the desired end result, whether that means finding the one hot document that can make or break a case, or more likely, the most relevant set of documents and communications that, woven together, tell their story.
How can an average user unlock the power of today’s premier eDiscovery technologies? Do all legal professionals need to be experts in eDiscovery with deep technical knowledge and certifications? The short answer is no. But understanding the platform visualizations and the data that supports them is an important, necessary skill.
The good news is that some best-in-breed eDiscovery platforms like Relativity can display data in robust, engaging, and intuitive ways. Visualizations can be as simple as an email date range timeline chart, or as complex as cluster wheels and network analysis webs. Setting up these visualizations requires deeper platform expertise, but once deployed, even the most novice platform users can successfully navigate them.
The most powerful technological advancements are those that are the most accessible and easy to use by the greatest number of people. For example, today, almost anyone can pick up a smartphone and use it effectively without training and certification, due to the efforts of computer scientists, developers and engineers creating applications that present data so it can be easily interpreted by the human mind. Conversely, many eDiscovery platforms require advanced training and even certification to fully utilize. eDiscovery Technologists can have a big impact by leveraging and deploying data visualizations that give legal professionals an edge in any complex eDiscovery matter.
In this series, we will explore how visual representations of data can provide significant insight to create and support the legal narrative as well as support or refute the allegations contained within the lawsuit or investigation. Over the coming months, we’ll explore the benefits of data visualization and uncover unique ways it may benefit your practice.
Read Part 2 of our blog series on Demystifying eDiscovery from the First Look.