eDiscovery Sneak Peek: How Your Software Processes Files You Upload

14 October 2019 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery software Cloud

Takeaway: When you load files into your eDiscovery software, 3 things happen: (1) Your data is uploaded into the Cloud, (2) Your data is processed, (3) You get to label and tag the files you’ve uploaded. So, make sure you use quality eDiscovery software that get these 3 steps right.

What happens to your eDiscovery files when you load them into your software?

Nowadays, uploading files is surprisingly simple. You just drag-and-drop them into your eDiscovery browser. And you can load just about any file – zip files, PDFs, Word documents, emails (PST, MBOX, etc.) and more. But how does your software process them?

Here are the 3 major steps involved:

The first two happen automatically, and you’ll be part of the third.

Step 1: Your data is uploaded into the Cloud

The best eDiscovery applications don’t store data on your computer. Instead, they upload them into the Cloud – which is essentially a massive network of computer servers owned by software giants like Amazon and Google. Cloud computing is everywhere, and if you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud.

Here’s why the Cloud is useful:

  • It cuts costs: The more people there are in the Cloud, the less the costs for each. That’s the beauty of Cloud economics. And since the Cloud-providers host millions of people, you pay much less than if you store data on private servers.
  • It’s secure: High-performance Cloud servers come with bank-grade security. Which means your data is as secure with them as your online banking information is with your bank. The data is encrypted both when it’s being transmitted and when it’s stored on their servers. Plus, since the data is on multiple servers in different locations, no one event can destroy it. Learn more about how the Cloud keeps your data safe.
  • You get top-notch technical support: Cloud-servers are looked after by skilled engineers. So, you don’t have to worry about hiring an IT team to handle technical issues.
  • You can access your data from anywhere, with the closest PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. And all you need is an internet connection, which means you can work on-the-go.

Step 2: Your data is ‘processed’

eDiscovery applications let you run complicated searches on your case. But to set things up for this, your files first need to be processed. Here’s what that involves:

  1. Duplicate files get flagged. Many lawyers estimate that up to 50% of their files are duplicates. For example, a colleague emails you a file that you already have. That’s an ‘exact’ duplicate. Or, you correct a few typos in a Word document and save it as a different file. This is a ‘near’ duplicate. It’s basically the same file, but not quite. Your software needs to find these duplicates and offer you ways of dealing with them. I.e., Leave duplicates untouched, tag them, hide them from search results, or delete them.
  2. System files get flagged. When you upload whole folders, you’ll often be uploading ‘system’ files – e.g., .DAT, .DLL, .IDX, etc. These are files that your computer needs in order to run, but which aren’t part of your case. And just like with duplicates, they’ll waste your time. So your software will need to weed them out.
  3. Files are converted into a common format. Your files come in different formats. You’ll have Word documents that need to be opened in Microsoft Word, spreadsheets that open with Excel, PDFs that need Adobe Acrobat, etc. By converting files into a common format, your eDiscovery software can now open them without their parent applications.
  4. File metadata is extracted. That is, extracting information about the file – like who created it, when it was last accessed, etc. This metadata is very useful when it comes to building your case. For example, when you want to find an email your client sent to a colleague last January, your software scans the ‘date’ metadata field of all your emails.
  5. Embedded files get extracted. For example, a video clip in a PowerPoint slide. By separating the clip and the slide, you can search and review them individually. But your eDiscovery software remembers that they’re connected. The PowerPoint slide is called the ‘parent’ document, and the video clip the ‘child’ document.

Step 3: You add context to the files

Building a defensible case is an art. It means knowing which custodians are most responsive and what keyword searches get the best results. For example, as you spend time getting to know your clients, you’ll learn about their colloquialisms. Like, how they call Robert ‘Bob’, or how they have special nicknames for landmark case-related events. Having spent so much time and effort gathering your data, it’s important that you don’t lose context. That’s why the best eDiscovery applications let you specify ‘custodians’ and ‘sources’ for all your uploaded files. This way, you can later choose to view or search files from specific custodians or sources. And you can filter search results by sources and custodians, too.

Want eDiscovery software that makes uploading easy? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application that prioritizes things that matter to 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?