eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Trends: Sampling within eDiscovery Software

Those of you who have been following this blog since early last year may remember that we published a three part series regarding testing your eDiscovery searches using sampling (as part of the “STARR” approach discussed on this blog about a year ago).  We discussed how to determine the appropriate sample size to test your search, using a sample size calculator (freely available on the web).  We also discussed how to make sure the sample size is randomly selected (again referencing a site freely available on the web for generating the random set).  We even walked through an example of how you can test and refine a search using sampling, saving tens of thousands in review costs with defensible results.

Instead of having to go to all of these external sites to manually size and generate your random sample set, it’s even better when the eDiscovery ECA or review software you’re using handles that process for you.  The latest version of FirstPass®, powered by Venio FPR™, does exactly that.  Version of FirstPass has introduced a sampling module that provides a wizard that walks you through the process of creating a sample set to review to test your searches.  What could be easier?

The wizard begins by providing a dialog to enable the user to select the sampling population.  You can choose from tagged documents from one or more tags, documents in saved search results, documents from one or more selected custodians or all documents in the database.  When choosing tags, you can choose ANY of the selected tags, ALL of the selected tags, or even choose documents NOT in the selected tags (for example, enabling you to test the documents not tagged as responsive to confirm that responsive documents weren’t missed in your search).

You can then specify your confidence level (e.g., 95% confidence level) and confidence interval (a.k.a., margin of error – e.g., 4%) using slider bars.  As you slide the bars to the desired level, the application shows you how that will affect the size of the sample to be retrieved.  You can then name the sample and describe its purpose, then identify whether you want to view the sample set immediately, tag it or place it into a folder.  Once you’ve identified the preferred option for handling your sample set, the wizard gives you a summary form for displaying your choices.  Once you click the Finish button, it creates the sample and gives you a form to show you what it did.  Then, if you chose to view the sample set immediately, it will display the sample set (if not, you can then retrieve the tag or folder containing your sample set).

By managing this process within the software, it saves considerable time outside the application having to identify the sample size and create a randomly selected set of IDs, then go back into the application to retrieve and tag those items as belonging to the sample set (which is how I used to do it).  The end result is simplified and streamlined.

So, what do you think?  Is sample set generation within the ECA or review tool a useful feature?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Full disclosure: I work for CloudNine Discovery, which provides SaaS-based eDiscovery review applications FirstPass® (for first pass review) and OnDemand® (for linear review and production).

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.