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Key Criteria for Evaluating E-Discovery Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. E-discovery Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Sue Clarke

1. Summary

E-discovery software manages the process of proactively preserving, discovering, collecting, reviewing, producing, and presenting electronically stored information (ESI), including records for legal or regulatory proceedings and requirements. It has become increasingly important over the past few years, as companies and individuals have become more litigious, and the increasing legislation and resulting regulations around the world dictate that data should be discoverable. With data volumes continuing to grow exponentially, it is impossible to address discovery requests using standard software such as search, therefore specialist tools are required.

E-discovery solutions allow users to search for and collect data that might be relevant to a discovery request (either for litigation or to comply with regulatory requirements), process that data to make it ready for review and analysis, and then put the relevant data into the final format for presentation to a prospective viewer, whether it be a court, regulator, or individual.

E-discovery software users comprise two distinct categories. The first includes those in an organization responsible for the initial search to locate information that could be relevant to the case or matter. These searches are often conducted in-house and may include some initial culling to filter out obviously irrelevant content. The remaining data is then generally passed to an external law firm to review, process, and produce the final data set. This is the second category of users, although this work may be performed by in-house counsel in large enterprises.

Because of this division of labor, e-discovery vendors in the past tended to develop tools that addressed either the search and collection of data, or the review, analysis, and production of the final data sets. Recently, however, some vendors have extended their offerings to now provide end-to-end capabilities.

The technology is also advancing to support additional capabilities to address new needs. For example, there are more data sources that are accepted in litigation today, including video, audio, and social media sites. Today’s e-discovery tools need to support the search, collection, and review of these sources. Additionally, vendors have begun to make it easier and quicker for users to review data as initial data sets can comprise millions of individual data items. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are playing an increasingly important role in helping to automate at least some of the review process.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting an effective e-discovery solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those criteria and metrics. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading e-discovery offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these platforms so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.