eDiscovery Daily Blog

A Framework for Discovery Automation: eDiscovery Trends

Automation has been a recurring theme this year on this blog. At the beginning of the year, I declared that the age of eDiscovery automation is upon us. I’ve also spoken about discovery automation on numerous occasions, including here, here, here, here and here (just two days ago!). Now, a recent post on the Complex Discovery blog takes an interesting look at a framework for discovery automation.

The post A Concise Framework for Discovery Automation notes that “[o]ne of the biggest challenges facing information, business, and legal professionals is the ability to cohesively consider the elements of data discovery and legal discovery within a technology framework that is comprehensive enough to address critical discovery tasks throughout information and legal lifecycles yet concise enough to be realistically approached from an automation perspective.” It illustrates how daunting the challenge can be by looking at the results of the Information Governance Initiative’s Annual Survey for 2015-16 to see how many types of discovery dependent products are considered as part of the information governance technology ecosystem – 22 technologies in all, from records and information management to compliance to data science.

One of the most interesting things about the post is the differentiation between Legal Discovery (a.k.a. Electronic Discovery, which is defined as “the process of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, searching, reviewing and producing electronically stored information that may be relevant to a civil, criminal, or regulatory matter”) and Data Discovery (which is defined as “the exploration of patterns and trends within unstructured data with the objective of uncovering insight and driving action”). As the diagram above illustrates, there are (not just one, but) two types of discovery, each with its own set of processes and tasks.

I’ve been increasingly interested in efforts to manage information prior to commencement of the legal process and the term “Data Discovery” seems very appropriate to reference those activities.

Another interesting thought about the framework is the idea of a fifth generation of eDiscovery offerings. Just when you got used to four generations, there’s a fifth! As Rob notes, the “characteristics of a fifth generation eDiscovery offering would be the adaptation of current data discovery offerings for use with offerings that were designed for eDiscovery, designed for eDiscovery task integration, and designed for eDiscovery task automation”.

Great article, and it saves me having to do a lot of writing on a travel day back from DC and The Masters Conference (with a bad cold, to boot). Thanks, Rob!

So, what do you think? Do you think of discovery as just related to litigation? As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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