The New & Simple Way to Collect eDiscovery Data!
Takeaway: *eDiscovery Collect *makes data collection easy and affordable. You’ll be able to securely download files directly from the Cloud – both from your own accounts or those of your clients. And you’ll be guided through the whole process with simple, step-by-step instructions. Plus, you’re not locked into any particular service, so you can use any eDiscovery software to review your data.
Collecting eDiscovery data is a big deal because it sets the stage for everything that follows.
Switching from paper files to digital data comes with many advantages. For example, files take up less space, are quicker to review, and are much easier to share. But digital data brings complicated new technology that can make it harder to collect eDiscovery files. And the stakes are high because any case you build is only as good as the data you collect. So you can’t afford to make mistakes like skipping custodians, corrupting data, or misplacing key files. Your eDiscovery software may be great at the other stages of eDiscovery (like searching, tagging, reacting, and producing files), but it won’t matter if you don’t have a reliable system for collecting data.
With so much at stake, it’s worth first figuring out solutions to some basic data collection challenges.
You’re usually faced with gigabytes of data scattered across various Cloud services and storage spaces (laptops, computers, external hard drives, servers, etc.). And you’ll need to get the data into your eDiscovery software. But there are four tasks in your way that bring their own set of challenges.
- Locating the files. Nowadays, both you and your clients likely store most of your data in the Cloud. But it’s probably scattered across a range of Cloud services like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!, Dropbox, Google Drive & OneDrive, etc. So, you’ll need to make a list of all the locations to gather data from.
- Collecting the files. Once you’ve located the necessary files, you’ll have to find a way of downloading them. It’s a pain finding and downloading your own files, but it’s so much harder trying to get clients to download theirs. You’ll have to keep emailing them reminders, and your work gets stalled till they respond. And even after they do download the files, they have to figure out a way to send them with you. Should they email you the files? Or share them via Dropbox or a file transfer service? Or load them onto a USB drive and post them to you?
- Keeping data safe. Your files are vulnerable to hackers when they’re being transferred. And even once you’ve got them, they can get corrupted by viruses and malware. So, you’ll need to figure out a way to protect them.
- Preserving metadata. When you create a file, the software you’re using (e.g. Microsoft Word) records a bunch of information about it. Things like who created it, when they created it, when it was last opened, etc. This data about data (i.e. ‘meta’ data) is a digital footprint that tracks the history of the file, and it’s vital in building your case. But something as simple as opening a file can change its metadata, so how do you prevent your clients from mistakenly altering all this valuable information? (Learn more about metadata.)
It’s these sorts of problems we were trying to solve when we came up with the concept behind eDiscovery Collect.
Our collection service – eDiscovery Collect – is an easy-to-use data collection tool designed specifically for small and midsize law firms.
Collect uses a simple three-stage process to gather data.
Here’s how it works.
- Create a ‘collection.’ You’ll first create a collection – which is a temporary location on our servers for the files you’ll be gathering.
- Import files into this collection. You’ll then import files into this collection directly from a Cloud service. You can either import files from your own Cloud accounts or send collection requests (via Collect) to clients. Once they permit you, you’ll be able to import authorized files from their accounts.
- Download the collection to your computer. You’ll set up a payment method (credit card or Google Pay), choose which imported files you want to download, and start the download. You’ll know the download cost up front (you’ll be charged per GB you download), and it automatically gets deducted once the download begins. (Note: You’re charged only for downloads. It’s free to create collections and import files – I.e. steps 1 & 2 above.)
Collect doesn’t have a long sign-up process, so you can start gathering files immediately.
Collect is quick because there’s no software to install. You’ll just log in to the service using your email address. And since prices are available up front, you won’t have to negotiate via email or handle annoying sales calls. Also, since Collect gives you direct access to Cloud files, you won’t have to wait for your clients to send you data. Once they’ve approved your collection request,’ you’ll have access to all the files and folders (across different Cloud platforms) they’ve authorized you to see.
The whole process is intuitive and easy to follow. And this was important for us because eDiscovery is complicated enough as it is.
Collect simplifies eDiscovery collections – both from your own and your clients’ Cloud platforms. It guides you through clear and simple steps, right from initially accessing the Cloud to finishing your final download. This makes it so much easier to use if you’re not great with technology. Plus, Collect’s support team will handle the rare technical issues that might pop up.
Most importantly, Collect protects both your data and metadata.
Collect uses bank-grade security to protect your files while transferring them. That means protection from hackers, viruses, and malware. Also, it collects the files without altering any metadata, and it leaves a defensible audit trail. And since it’s only copying files, all the originals are left untouched. (Note: Even if you mistakenly lose a collection, you can re-download it for free within 7 days.)
Finally, Collect doesn’t tie you into a particular service. So, you can choose to review your data using any eDiscovery software or service.
Collect only helps you gather data, so it doesn’t tie you into a particular service. Once you’ve downloaded your data, you’re free to review it using any eDiscovery software you choose.
Want to find out more about eDiscovery Collect?
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- eDiscovery 101: The Basics of Ediscovery for Small Law Firms
- How to Find Emails When You’ve Forgotten the Date They Were Sent
- How to Upload eDiscovery Files [The Easy Way]
- Small Case Vs Big Case eDiscovery: There’s Such a Difference!
- eDiscovery Pricing Comparison for Smaller, In-House Cases
- 7 Basic eDiscovery Concepts Every Attorney Should Know