3 Essential Vs Non-Essential eDiscovery Software Features

05 October 2019 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery software

Takeaway: The best way to cut eDiscovery costs is to use software with only essential features. So, look for applications with (1) Inbuilt OCR, (2) Advanced searches, and (3) Quick tags. And unless you’re part of a huge law firm, don’t spend money on (1) Machine learning, (2) Data visualization, and (3) Audio transcription.

Which eDiscovery software features matter?

There are so many eDiscovery applications out there that it’s often hard to find the right one for you. The solution? Choose software with only essential eDiscovery features. That way, you’re paying for only what you’ll definitely use. Here’s a quick guide covering essential versus non-essential eDiscovery software features.

The 3 essential features you absolutely must have

They are crucial for even the most basic eDiscovery cases.

1. Inbuilt OCR: To convert scanned files into machine-readable PDFs

With eDiscovery, everything is digital. But you still work with a lot of paper documents. So, you’ll need to scan and upload these into your eDiscovery application. The thing is, your computer can’t ‘read’ (i.e., edit and search) the text in these scanned documents. For that, you’ll need something called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It’s a software tool that converts scanned documents into text files that a computer can process. To get OCR, you usually need to contact a vendor, get a quote, and wait a few days as they convert your files. Instead, work faster by finding eDiscovery software with inbuilt, automatic OCR.

2. Advanced search: To hone in on specific documents

We all know how to make a basic eDiscovery search. You enter a keyword, and your application pulls up all files with that keyword. So, if you searched for John Anderson, you’d get (for example) all of John’s emails and the deposition transcripts in which his name appeared. But have you experimented with your application’s ‘advanced search’ feature? Here, you enter multiple keywords or keyword phrases to get your eDiscovery software to find specific files. Using this sort of advanced search, you can tell your software to, “Find all emails John Anderson sent Sally Nedry, which mention the Pfizer meeting. And which were sent before 2015.” Learn more about advanced searches.

Think of a tag as a virtual post-it. With paper documents, you stick post-its to key pages so that you can easily find them again. With electronic documents, you use tags. They’ll pull up related files and content with a single click. They’ll make it easy to ‘produce’ these files too. And they’ll help your team stay organized. The best eDiscovery applications have tags that are quick and easy to use. You’ll be able to choose from default tags, create new ones and label them (to add context), and bulk-tag files and file families.

3 non-essential features you can do without

You won’t use them much and they’ll unnecessarily increase costs.

1. Machine learning: To help process especially large cases

It’s also called Technology Assisted Review (TAR) or predictive coding. Here, your software ‘learns’ which kinds of files interest you and starts tagging them automatically. You’ll usually get things started by tagging documents as ‘relevant’ or ‘irrelevant,’ and over time, your software sees a pattern in your choices. Machine learning may speed up your review a bit, but it’s not worth the cost unless you’re a very large law firm working with massive cases.

2. Data visualization: To try making information more accessible

Some eDiscovery applications use a range of visual tools to help you understand data better. These tools can be as simple as pie graphs that show the split between different file types in your case. Or they can be complex diagrams that show connections between data from different custodians. Visual tools can help you make sense of oceans of data and stay with the ‘story’ of the case. But often, they’re just for show and don’t help build a defensible case.

3. Inbuilt audio transcription: To deal with audio-heavy cases

The great thing about advanced eDiscovery searches is that you can find files with specific keywords. But your software can only search text, so what about the audio and video files in your case? With audio transcription, verbal conversations are converted into written transcripts that your search engine can explore. Audio transcription does have its uses, but unless your case is audio-heavy, it’s not a feature worth paying for.

Looking for eDiscovery software with the features that matter? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application designed for small law firms. That’s why:

  • **It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch has a flat, prorated rate. With legacy software, your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It can handle even the largest cases. GoldFynch scales from small to large, since it’s in the Cloud. So, choose from a range of case sizes (3 GB to 100 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need.
  • You can access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud. And you can monitor its servers here.
  • You won’t have to worry about technical stuff. It’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So, its technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means you get prompt and reliable service.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

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