EDA 2.0 – 4 top tips for the next generation

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll have noticed our recent focus on Early Data Assessment (EDA). Our last two articles covered some of the potential pitfalls to avoid, and the massive benefits offered by in-place EDA.

Today, we’re turning our focus to the “early” part of Early Data Assessment. We’ll explore some of the very tangible business benefits offered by the emerging trend of proactive EDA – laying advanced EDA groundwork before investigation even begins.

We like to call this proactive approach to EDA, EDA 2.0. Why? Because we think it’s a very logical evolution for organisations that regularly undertake eDiscovery/investigatory work and need to find ways to reduce the cost and effort involved.

These are some of the top proactive EDA techniques we recommend, along with the benefits they deliver.

1. Document the data estate

How: Data mapping
Why: Quicker identification of important data sources and/or content

The quickest way to find data in a structured environment is to use a data map. Taking the time to proactively understand and document (or map) where your data lives, along with the processes that created it (data lineage), makes it dramatically easier to find relevant data sources and content during future investigations when every minute counts.

2. Keep a clean house

How: Data lifecycle management
Why: Less over-collection, lower data storage costs, lower risk exposure

Duplication and the presence of irrelevant data is inevitable in every eDiscovery collection, but having vast amounts of completely unnecessary data to cull shouldn’t be a given. One of the best ways to reduce data volumes, and the resulting need for massive culling, is to minimise the amount of redundant, outdated and trivial information (ROT) cluttering up your environment.

Getting this right (with any kind of sustainability) means tackling data lifecycle management. In other words, implementing information governance policies that govern what data must be retained, and what can and should be deleted.

This can be an intimidating task, but the benefits are undeniable. Less data means lower risk exposure; lower storage volumes and costs; and more efficient, less expensive future eDiscovery.

3. Build on previous experience

How: Create a culture of continuous improvement
Why: More knowledge + streamlined processes = avoiding the pitfalls with associated lower costs

In every eDiscovery process, there are insights to be gained. Whether it’s data quantities, common sources of duplication, or simply knowing which people, tools and partners should be engaged at which stage of the process, each experience delivers new learnings. And always be prepared to learn from mistakes!

Using these as a source of continuous improvement can make each future investigation that much more efficient and cost-effective. This does, however, require a shift from a reactive mindset – where each case reinvents the wheel – to a proactive mindset where today’s experiences become the foundation for tomorrow’s improvements. Some of these learnings may support the justification of upstream company-wide initiatives as well as the specifics of the eDiscovery process itself.

4. Partner up

How: Contact us
Why: Innovative solutions for more predictable, less painful eDiscovery costs

Let’s face it: eDiscovery costs are part and parcel of the digital world we now live in, but that doesn’t mean we should blindly accept eDiscovery costs and data volumes rising in tandem.

At Salient Discovery we are committed to partnering with our clients to drive down the cost of eDiscovery.

Whether that’s helping assess maturity, providing insights to streamline future eDiscovery processes, leveraging existing investments and toolsets, or offering a reusable subscription model to lower the cost/GB of the platform based on annual through-put, we’re here to find innovative ways to make eDiscovery costs more predictable and less painful.