As the volume of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) collected for litigation, investigations, and other legal matters grow, so too does the task of filtering through the junk. Thankfully, the proper use of software, technology, and analytics helps reduce the effort. One helpful tech tool that helps expedite and streamline the identification and culling of irrelevant information is a dashboard. Many e-discovery software platforms offer dashboards which are user interfaces that organize and present information in a way that is easy to read. We at Percipient also create custom dashboards to help our clients gain better insight into their legal matters. Here are a few ways to leverage dashboards to improve your document review workflow.
Dashboards allow you to visualize your data and provide a clearer picture of what the data looks like. You can create widgets (dynamic graphs) within your dashboard to visually see the breakdown of your data. For example, if you have a review that is limited by date range you can create a widget that shows you custodians’ documents by date range. This visual will help you see which custodians have the most documents to review during the time period.
You can also create a visual representation of any of the metadata to summarize what was collected. Additionally, you can create widgets to see the breakdown of document extensions, file sizes, or document languages. Visualizing what data was collected is helpful in creating a game plan for how you are going to tackle your review (or help figure out what you shouldn’t review).
The ability to see your data in a dashboard gives you an advantage when you are trying to prioritize your review. Using clusters in your dashboards, (clusters are sets of documents grouped together because they are conceptually related) can help identify documents that are most relevant to your case and should be reviewed first.
For instance, if your client has an upcoming deposition, through your dashboard you can pull forward only the deponent’s documents that have relevant key terms and prioritize those ahead of other documents. This allows you to provide your clients with relevant documents faster so they can prepare their depositions.
One of the most beneficial features of a dashboard is that it monitors the status and progress of your ongoing legal document review. Review project managers can set up different widgets to aid project progress. Widgets may be created to track:
Creating a widget for each of these statistics enables you to quickly reference key information that may impact the status of your project. This can be helpful when trying to meet deadlines, keep to your budget, or even spot coding issues.
Quality control (QC) is one of the most crucial stages of your document review workflow. After all, what’s the point of having documents coded if they are not coded correctly? Setting up widgets on your dashboard can help you quickly isolate documents that might have coding conflicts. For example, you can set up a widget to validate whether any responsive documents are also marked for privilege. You can also use a dashboard widget to trigger a deeper analysis of unusual or unexpected behavior. For example, should custodian X have 50 unresponsive documents and 0 responsive documents when they are the custodian that was expected to have the majority of responsive documents? If something looks unusual, it probably is. Follow your gut and isolate the population of documents in question and analyze them to see if further QC needs to be done.
Dashboards can really make a visual difference in your legal workflows. Try some of these ideas out and see how they improve your document review process.