By Abbye Needham, Esq., eDiscovery Services Manager
In February, I participated in a #VenioVision webinar focusing on identifying and alleviating common pain points inherent in review platforms. bit-x-bit partners with Venio to provide a range of eDiscovery services to our clients, and we are experts at leveraging the power of Venio’s processing engine and self-service eDiscovery platform. Indeed, without partnering with the right eDiscovery expert, your document review could result in increased costs, lower review quality, and client frustration. During our interactive discussion, we explored how collaborating with an experienced provider can help maximize the full potential of an eDiscovery platform. A savvy partner can help you:
- Reduce Time Spent During the Review
- Reduce Overall eDiscovery Costs
- Mitigate Litigation Risks
- Improve Document Review Quality
Below, I have detailed some common pain points in eDiscovery workflows and offer measures by which a skilled eDiscovery team can help you get the most out of your review platform.
The Right Expert Can Help Reduce Review Time & Costs:
As with any project, wasted eDiscovery time means higher costs. Streamlining and customizing a review platform that works for your matter is a critical component to a successful review. If you spend extra time locating the right documents, struggling to see the key metadata, or constantly tweaking search terms and redoing searches to target the desired data, you are wasting valuable resources. At bit-x-bit, for example, our experts explore features that help streamline review and assist in identifying relevant documents faster and more efficiently. Every project is not the same, so a forward-thinking eDiscovery partner should help you decide whether a customized review platform is needed for the respective matter. Customization can be accomplished in many ways, such as changing the way data is organized on the review site, setting up specific views to help display the data in particular ways, and ensuring permissions are in place so you have access to the features and tool sets that are most needed for the review at hand, thereby eliminating unnecessary options and features.
Review time (and cost) can also be reduced by improving the quality of your search protocols and, by extension, search results. At bit-x-bit, we assist clients’ efforts to create terms that work for the matter at issue, assist in tracking changes to terms, and create saved searches and reports to streamline the search process. Understanding how to utilize a review platform to track searches and improve terms will benefit the review and reduce overall cost. We also advise clients to sample and validate terms early on, as a way to avoid reviewing and hosting an overabundance of false hits. Sampling terms can provide insight into your data set and offer validation on how the terms are performing. We have seen first-hand how reviewing a statistical sample of your term hits sheds light on the quality of the terms. We then use that knowledge to modify terms to ultimately reduce the number of documents to be loaded, hosted, reviewed and produced.
The Right Tools Can Mitigate Risk
If you or your provider do not have the appropriate technical tools for the task you are trying to perform, you run the risk of not finding the right documents. That becomes especially risky when you are dealing with files containing personal identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or other confidential and/or privileged information. Relying only on human review alone to locate, flag and potentially redact this information can be risky and lead to PII or trade secrets being inadvertently shared. At bit-x-bit, we leverage standard and customizable entity- and pattern-based detection tools to flag and extract potential PII, PHI and other privileged data. These features assist reviewers with locating documents that may need special handling and allow for quick quality control to ensure that coding and redactions are correct prior to production Our team has extensive experience leveraging these processes to help mitigate risks our client may face. For example, we recently customized a review that focused on locating various types of PII and created PII objects to assist in identifying persons who may have had their personal data breached in a cyberattack. Our experts used PII detection tools to identify a potential review set and then used the flags generated by the tool to perform quality control on documents to ensure all PII information was captured. Our expertise enabled the client to quickly locate all relevant information to ensure proper remediation.
The Right Processes Can Improve Review Quality
A final way to get the most out of your review platform is to ensure you are using eDiscovery processes tailored for your project. If your eDiscovery processes are not properly structured, review quality may be impacted. Critical processes include: ensuring quality-control checks are in place for review sets; providing clear and concise review protocols; and understanding how review actions will impact the overall case. For example, if you have coding propagation  enabled, what exactly will be coded when you hit “save” and proceed to the next document? When you are using predictive technology to support reviews, it is extremely important to understand the impact of coding propagation and the times you should and should not propagate. For instance, if you code full families as “relevant” and your email thread propagation also propagates attachments to those emails, you may end up coding irrelevant documents as relevant. This can decrease the efficiency of using analytics and require more documents to be reviewed. Being able to understand and customize how your platform propagates can eliminate the issue of inconsistency/over coding that may impact the quality of your review.
At bit-x-bit, we recently utilized continuous active learning technology to customize propagation to email threads. This process ensured that we did not overlay propagation coding to all attachments in an email thread, which saved the client substantial review time and prevented the mass coding of irrelevant documents as relevant. By using the correct process and understanding how that process would impact the review, our client located relevant documents quickly and enabled the client to (defensibly) forego review of over 32,000 documents the were unlikely to be relevant.
Content sampling is another process that can bolster review quality and defensibility. Being able to easily pull statistical samples across the reviewed and not-reviewed universe can catch problems before they become systematic, thereby saving time and increasing review quality. We often recommend sampling multiple times during a review. Regardless of how your review is structured, sampling reviewed as well as not-reviewed data sets can quickly tell you if 1) your search terms are finding the right documents, 2) your reviewers understand the coding protocol, or 3) you are missing relevant information with your current review set up.
In conclusion, when choosing a review platform and supporting team, it is important to have an approach customized to the project’s scope and objectives. Being able to structure tools and processes to meet your specific case needs and streamline review will save you time, money and frustration. Having a partner that can help you navigate the numerous technologies available can also ensure that you are using the right platform and features for the matter at hand.
For more information on how bit-x-bit can assist with your reviews please contact us at 412 325 4033, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Propagation entails automatically coding review fields of documents linked together by family, email threads or duplicates.