Free eDiscovery 'Processing': Why It Helps You Work Quicker and Better
Takeaway: Does your eDiscovery software charge to ‘process’ your data? Here are the problems with that: (1) It’s more expensive, (2) It makes you second-guess yourself when uploading files, since you’re always thinking of the processing costs. The trick to better eDiscovery is to find software with free (and unlimited) processing, auto-upgrades for your case plans, and prorated pricing.
eDiscovery ‘processing’ is a big deal because there’s a LOT your software has to do behind the scenes.
eDiscovery has become so simple. Just drag-and-drop files into it your eDiscovery software and you can start searching, reviewing and tagging them. But it takes a lot to make this happen.
- Your files are uploaded into the Cloud. Nowadays, you don’t usually buy and download eDiscovery software. Instead, your eDiscovery provider runs it in the Cloud and you pay to use it as a service (Software as a Service – SaaS). So, the first thing your software does is to upload your data into the Cloud.
- Your files are ‘unpacked’: Some of your files are actually a bunch of grouped files. For example, an email may have an attachment. So the email is unpacked as two separate records – original (parent) email and the (child) attachment.
- Scanned documents are converted into text. When you scan a document, it’s usually stored as an image of the document, not text that you can edit and search. So your software uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert it into a regular document that you can search for keywords.
- Your data is ‘indexed’. ‘Indexing’ is how your software processes all the data you’ve uploaded. When you search your eDiscovery case, your software doesn’t go through each document for every search. Instead, when uploading your files, it creates an index/database of what’s in each file (i.e. keywords) and what’s stored ‘about’ each file (i.e. metadata – things like when it was created, who created it, when it was last modified, etc.). So, when you search your case, your software skims through this index, looking for your search terms. For example, to find emails sent on a particular date, your software searches all your email ‘date’ metadata fields.
- Unnecessary files are weeded out. This includes duplicate files (e.g. two versions of the same email) and system files (e.g. .DAT or .DLL files – which your computer needs in order to run, but you don’t).
- 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.
Processing may be tough, but expensive processing fees get in the way of good eDiscovery.
There’s a flow to building a defensible case. It’s a complex, partly-intuitive process and you need the freedom to experiment. But if you have to pay a lot for processing, then you get boxed in. Your first impulse is to upload fewer files. Also, what if you make a mistake and need to re-upload data? Or if you get a ‘re-production’ request from opposing counsel? You’ll have to pay for uploading and processing again, which means more expensive eDiscovery. All this distracts you and blocks the in-the-moment creative thinking you need to be doing.
Paying a per-GB rate for processing is a great start.
If you can find more affordable processing, that’s a good first step. The concept of an upfront, per-GB processing rate is useful here. You get a fixed processing cost for each GB of data you upload. Find a low per-GB rate and you’ll be less preoccupied about uploading files.
But what you really need is to be able to forget about processing altogether.
The new generation of eDiscovery applications are set up so that your cases can grow and shrink organically and freely. That’s because they have three novel features:
- Unlimited, free processing: Uploading and processing your files is free. What you’re paying for instead is storage space – which is split up into fixed ‘plans’. For example, a 3 GB plan gets you 3 GB of storage space, a 5 GB plan gets you 5 GB, and so on. This means that on a 3 GB plan, you could keep adding and deleting as many files as you want (say, 10 GB or more in total) at no extra cost. You just need to make sure there are only 3 GB of data in your case at any given point. That’s the beauty of unlimited, free processing.
- Auto upgrades: Even if your case does grow beyond that 3 GB plan, your eDiscovery software will upgrade you to the next largest plan automatically. So, it doesn’t break your workflow.
- Prorated pricing: But what about the extra money you have to pay for upgrading your case? Pricing is prorated. So you pay only for the time you spent on each plan. Plus, the plans come with rock-bottom prices, so they’re easy on your wallet.
Looking for eDiscovery software that uploads and processes files for free? Try GoldFynch.
It’s affordable, and designed for small and midsize law firms.
- It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. 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 charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up front how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
- It’s quick to get started. GoldFynch 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 trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
- It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch and you’re good to go. Plus, it’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So you get prompt and reliable tech support.
- Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.
Want to find out more about GoldFynch?
For more about eDiscovery, check out these articles
- eDiscovery Technology-Assisted Review (TAR): Is It Worth the Cost?
- 6 Email eDiscovery File Types (Must Know): PST, MSG, EDB, OST, EML & MBOX
- 5 eDiscovery Security Features Every Law Firm Should Use
- What is ESI (Electronically Stored Information)? eDiscovery Basics for Small Law Firms
- eDiscovery: Can I Choose Where My Data Gets Stored?