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Measuring Cost Is No Longer Enough for eDiscovery

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Legal departments continuously seek means of reducing litigation costs, and vendors have tailored messaging to speak to this budget line item. Controlling expenditures and mitigating risk are top priorities. In a function where response time is highly critical, companies must evaluate the performance of the discovery process itself—streamlining workflows and creating efficiency. Let’s look at five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that empower legal teams to make better informed decisions about discovery to mitigate risks and ultimately help reduce discovery costs by 30-50 percent.

Collecting Relevant Data – Conducting full data collections by duplicating all the data on every device causes data volumes to soar over time. This increases cost and creates risk by over-collecting unneeded data. Conducting defensible search-at-source targeted collections to reduce collection sizes across projects—by identifying relevant custodians, and replicating only directories, applications, and repositories that contain relevant information within the time frame meaningful to the litigation—helps control costs and limits the risks associated with over-collection.

Promotion Rate – This metric measures how accurately an eDiscovery platform identifies key documents and excludes non-responsive materials before being subjected to the discovery process. Traditional, time-honored methods of running search terms against a data set promote about 25-30% of all documents. More sophisticated tools categorize and gather documents with the greatest relevancy and lower the promotion rate to as little as 5%, all while defensibly excluding unrelated materials.

Data Relevancy & Reuse – Often in matter after matter, the same custodians and data stores are processed and promoted. This duplication of effort costs legal departments money and precious time. Using workflow and technology tactics to track all collected data at the original source can determine potential relevancy to multiple matters and avoid the risk of re-collections, refresh collections, or potential spoliation.

Effective Review Speed – Measuring documents per hour (DPH) is a fundamental document review statistic. The industry average is 35-40 DPH. But once known, how can this metric be improved to reduce total time and costs? To increase DPH, legal departments must leverage advanced technology and processes—structured and conceptual analytics, technology assisted review, and workflows involving Search Hit Only (SHO), Single Instance Review (SIR), and the latest Continuous Active Learning techniques (CAL). By assessing the results and coding decisions of these technologies, companies can maximize workflow efficiency to improve DPH while maintaining high-quality work product.

Review Geography – Discovery is a global endeavor and utilizing legal resources around the world is essential to maximizing time and meeting challenging deadlines. For functions like document review, leveraging skilled legal reviewers in multiple geographies allows work on a project 24/7 while taking advantage of competitive local rates and reducing overall cost.

The ability to track and review metrics from specific KPIs enables law departments to have visibility and control, which drive informed decisions. Using advanced digital technologies and activating KPIs throughout the discovery process helps legal teams make better decisions throughout the discovery process, and ultimately minimize the cost impact and risks associated with discovery to the company.

To learn more about utilizing KPIs to create efficiency in your discovery process, download our white paper on Optimizing Litigation Discovery Through KPIs.

The UnitedLex approach to discovery program management mitigates the challenges associated with compliance, eDiscovery, and investigations. In addition to end-to-end discovery solutions, we standardize and capture discovery KPIs important to the outcome of eDiscovery. Visit Litigation & Investigations Services to find out more.