In-house early analytics are discovery intelligence gathering and reporting mechanisms that help in-house counsel and outside counsel understand a corpus of potentially-relevant documents and e-mail.
In-house early case analytics gives counsel the ability to make well-informed decisions about what documents and e-mail are clearly non-relevant so that these files can be removed prior to transfer to outside counsel for traditional review.
Said more specifically, the purpose of in-house early analytics is to educate and inform counsel as to the nature, scope and potential size of the document request. In many legal cases, outside counsel is oblivious as to the size of burden a discovery request places upon a company. In-house early analytics brings transparency to outside counsel so that they can refine the request. Meanwhile, in-house early case analytics informs managing counsel as to the actual costs of discovery – prior to ESI being sent out the door.
In-house early analytics come to counsel in the form of informational reports and visualizations, three of which I list here:
Key term hit reports by custodian (see example below)
Visual charts and graphs (concept maps, conversation clusters, clusters of similar documents, etc)
- Concept cluster maps (visualization that clusters similar documents together)
- Conversation cluster maps (a visualization that shows the e-mail communications)
- Interactive screen share sessions where outside counsel is able to view a file share firsthand.
In my personal experience, when outside counsel is educated and informed via early in-house analytics, they will often then have sufficient information necessary to refine and further perfect their key terms list. This refinement will often have a significant impact on the total number of documents that end up in traditional attorney review.