Spherical Indexing: A primer for early case assessment

Part 1: Early case assessment delivers competitive advantage in legal risk
Part 2: Spherical Indexing: A primer for early case assessment

In the first part of this series I commented on the legal risk competitive advantage delivered by using early case assessment tools.  By leveraging eDiscovery interview content and a judges reaction to meet and confer meetings, I offered confirmation that early case assessment and preDiscovery are competitive advantages when dealing with legal risk management.

Early case assessment and preDiscovery differ in their commitment to chain of custody and legal review of data.  Early case assessment and preDiscovery activity overlap in the collection phase of electronic discovery reference model (EDRM), the difference is what you do with the data.  PreDiscovery has more gray area as it relates to the impact on legal review and production.  Early case assessment offers more definition because it may help you avoid going to trial or suffering a full disclosure discovery.  Using early case assessment tools or solutions enables an organization become defensive before the meet and confer meeting.

Being prepared before a meet and confer meeting can be challenging, but the rewards are less discoverable data, therefore less reviewed data.  dcig.com electronic discovery interview series responses suggest that the rise in electronic discovery cost is directly related to the rise in data being reviewed.  Therefore, preparation ahead of a meet and confer meeting can reduce your electronic discovery review requirements, subsequently reducing your total discovery budget.

For example, Electronic mail early case assessment will expose connections between users (custodians) and subjects/activities (concepts) during specific time frames.  Since email is directly tied to corporate identity; there is no mistaking or missing communications between employees, partners and customers.  Conversely, a face-to-face interview of known custodians may not yield all parties (unknown custodians) with whom an employee has communicated.

Getting to the center of a matter by way of custodian and concept searching will improve your legal risk management on a case-by-case basis.  However, many mid-sized organizations continue to face challenges in terms of cost and complexity when they want to evaluate email.  Estorian LookingGlass Spherical Indexing can manage and evaluate email at low cost, with reduced complexity delivering, making it a valuable solution for the mid-market.  Mid-sized companies have much more email than they realize, often exceeding 1-2 Terabytes in size.  For example, 3000 users manage thirty-five 50 kilobyte messages a day over the course of 365 days will yield 1.35 Terabytes of email.

“Spherical Indexing” receives much of its strength as an index through the SQL tables it is based on.  At first glance it may seem overly complex to manage Terabytes of data using SQL, but the current foot print for full text indexing is 12-20% of the original data storage.  Therefore, a one terabyte archive would result in about 120-200 gigabytes of index data, with the average being about 120gigabytes.  An industry acceptable size for an index is between 10-15% of the source data.  However, be sure to check your indexes, some only include a full text option and not a concept based search component

The next entry is “Spherical Indexing: Thinking outside of the OLAP cube.

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