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Litigators Need ESI Analytics – Not Boolean Search Tools

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Litigators Need ESI Analytics – Not Boolean Search Tools

This morning as I was enjoying my Monday morning coffee and reviewing the latest “Blog postings and press releases” in eDiscovery, I came across an article highlighting a research study published by AIIM on March 29, 2010, titled, “Users Need Content Research Tools, Not Basic Search Tools” that indicated users are more interested in finding good content analysis tools as opposed to just search tool. It is interesting that this study was not specifically written about eDiscovery. However, I would suspect that if AIIM had polled just eDiscovery professionals that they would have gotten an even louder call (more than 70%) for good eDiscovery analytics.

eDiscovery technology vendors are making tremendous strides in regards to enabling users to conduct some analytics during the Early Case Assessment (ECA) phase and even during the Document Review phase of the EDRM. However, I contend that most searches that are done today are keyword searches based upon a list of keywords that were produced by outside counsel (probably Associates and paralegals) with little or nor real knowledge of the Electronically Stored Information (ESI).

This archaic and potentially dangerous practice is no doubt a huge step forward from sticky notes, yellow pads and Excel spreadsheets. However, with the advanced analytical tools that have been on the market for general business analysis for years, there is no excuse for eDiscovery professionals to not be using advanced analytic search technology such as conceptual search for eDiscovery.

I have written extensively about this topic on this Blog. Following are links to some of those posts:

Become eDiscovery Superheroes: http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2010/03/become-ediscovery-superhero-with.html

Concept Search vs. Keyword Search in eDiscovery: http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2008/12/concept-search-vs-keyword-search-in.html

The Fog is Lifting on Conceptual Search in eDiscovery:
http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2008/12/fog-is-lifting-on-concept-search-in.html

Conceptual Search Case Law Emerging: http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2008/06/concept-search-case-law-emerging.html

The New Generation of eDiscovery Search: http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-generation-of-ediscovery-search.html
Web 3.0 in eDiscovery: http://ediscoveryconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/12/web-30-in-ediscovery.html

The full text of the AIIM article is as follows:

Silver Spring, MD – March 29, 2010 - According to a recent survey report by content management association AIIM, organizations could derive much higher business value from content analytics tools than from simple search-engines. Sophisticated content reporting across text documents and rich media file-types has created the opportunity to report and research across unstructured content, bringing the same capabilities of strategic insight and improved decision-making as Business Intelligence (BI) reporting brings to structured content.

Over 70% of respondents in AIIM’s survey would find advanced content analysis functions “Extremely useful” or “Very useful.” They rate their current ability to “research” content for business insight, or to monitor desirable or undesirable activity as 3 to 6 times less than their ability to simply “search” across different content types. Relatively new as a recognized toolset, content analytics tools provide trend analysis, content assessment, pattern recognition and exception detection. Applications include fraud detection in claims or loan applications, pattern detection in inspection reports, detecting unauthorized use of copyright material, analysis of healthcare records against other citizen databases, automatic redaction (blanking out) of sensitive information, and sentiment analysis in customer correspondence or social media sites.

According to Doug Miles, Director of AIIM research activities, “In much the same way that BI tools opened up structured corporate data in finance and ERP systems to give managers true insight into business operations, content analytics can leverage the investments in content management systems to measure subtle trends and sentiments in assessment reports, correspondence, emails, and social media sites. Meanwhile, analysis tools for rich media file types, such as video and audio, are providing much better management of these valuable assets, as well as improving the ability to detect fraud and crime.”

One particularly useful application of analytics is that of measuring the relevance and likely duplication of stored documents and records, with a view to reducing the size of content stores in order to save storage space, particularly during system migration or company merger activities. Only 15% of respondents had any automated tools for this kind of content assessment.

The AIIM report projects a considerable increase in spend on content analytics technologies over the next two years, as well as increases for Digital Asset Management (DAM) and enterprise search applications.

Based on over 500 responses, the AIIM research report is entitled “Content Analytics – research tools for unstructured content and rich media.” Part of the AIIM Industry Watch series, the full report is free to download from the AIIM website. It is underwritten by Allyis, IBM and Media Beacon.

About the research
The survey was taken by 527 individual members of the AIIM community between February 9th and February26th using a Web-based tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via e-mail to a selection of the AIIM worldwide community members.

About AIIM
AIIM (http://www.aiim.org/) is the community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. For over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. The AIIM community includes over 65,000 ECM users and professionals.

About Allyis
Allyis develops and supports technologies that help businesses operate, share information, and communicate more effectively. Whether developing an employee intranet to connect a dispersed workforce, designing a knowledge management strategy to surface talent and expertise, or providing content management support, Allyis leverages people and technology to make business more efficient and effective. http://www.allyis.com/

About IBM
As a content, process and compliance software market leader, IBM ECM delivers a broad set of mission-critical solutions that help solve today’s most difficult business challenges: managing unstructured content, optimizing business processes and helping satisfy complex compliance requirements. More than 13,000 global organizations and governments rely on IBM ECM to improve performance and remain competitive through innovation. http://www.ibm.com/.

About MediaBeacon
MediaBeacon, Inc. is the leading provider of Digital Asset Management, Enterprise Search and secure role-based media distribution portals of digital content technology. With some of the largest DAM deployments known to date and hundreds of global enterprise customers, MediaBeacon is a proven leader in the industry. For more information, visit http://www.mediabeacon.com/

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