Category: Autonomy

The Roots of Search Engines – Why you should care what is behind your enterprise Search

Enterprise level discovery requires enterprise level technology or by definition it becomes ‘unduly burdensome’ for any but the smallest cases. Recent opinions from federal judges and appellate courts on both coasts have made it clear that the discovery process, technology and personnel are under increasing scrutiny. Plaintiff’s counsel are reading the same opinions from Judge John Facciola (United States v. O’Keefe, 537 F. Supp. 2d 14 (D.D.C. 2008)) and the 9th Circuit (Quon v. Arch Wireless). Many will interpret them as a signal to initiate Daubert style hearings to force corporations to defend their search engines, communication systems and the discovery effort in response to discovery demands.

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“All keyword searches are not created equal”

Keywords are easy to understand and even easier to misuse. Beyond the science of ‘precision and recall’ there needs to be process, communication and metrics to reach the standard of reasonable due diligence, this ‘comfort level’ that Judge Grimm cites. The process needs to identify the known exceptions to your chosen technology. Have you asked or tested for the ability to search across different formats of email, files, databases, images, voice, video and languages? Do you even know the composition of your ESI collection and how that will affect any searches?

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Are all search results equal?

All of this does not mean that it is impossible to conduct a reasonable, defensible search, preservation or collection. Instead it points out the need to understand your environment and to document the efforts made to test and analyze the capabilities and exceptions of potential eDiscovery technology before putting them to use. With more innovative CIO’s looking to implement enterprise search and analytics, it is critical that the legal department collaborates on the system requirements and testing process.

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Concept Search, where does it fit in discovery?

A conceptual engine essentially lets the ESI talk for itself. Rather than a person creating a search from their preconceptions of what criteria will retrieve all items related to a given request, the systems analyze and present the items back as folders, dot clusters and other visual diagrams to help the user make sense of the complex relationships. All of this sounds like just what the attorney asked for. “Give me everything relating to this deal.”

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So what about the voicemail?

Knowing that one can search digitized conversations, the next question is can users effectively search everything within the enterprise system from unified federated search? There is little doubt that the archiving systems are aggressively pursuing acquisitions, partnerships and development to enable ingestion and indexing of every conceivable data stream. All of them started with email back in the late 1990’s. For example, Symantec doesn’t have audio, but jumped ahead with early products to handle IM, file shares, Sharepoint through merger and acquisition.

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There’s a new sheriff in Information Governance and she goes by Autonomy

Processes that fluctuate according to the needs of the business, department and staff result in unique and unstructured content. The content and processes require a special type of handling, in the form of Intelligent Archiving. The archiving and ECM markets need to radically change their perception of solutions to these unstructured data problems. In an attempt to address this Autonomy is announcing Autonomy Information Governance, the first intelligent information governance platform. Their plan, according to their press release, is to address three cost and risk oriented business processes.

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