ediscovery project path

Sort Out Your Future eDiscovery Project Path

Share this article

Where are you going with eDiscovery in the future? Are you feeling like you need to reevaluate how you approach projects? There are many factors to consider including project size, frequency, support, user base, and how often you perform eDiscovery. This blog will give you a few ideas to figure out your best eDiscovery path. 

Project Size

What gigabytes are you paying for in your current eDiscovery tool? An important question whether someone else is hosting the data or you are storing it in-house. In some cases, one GB uploaded to a platform translates to multiple GB stored as copies of documents can exist in productions or extractions of other embedded data. Images might also be created of a document. In addition, although your client’s information may not be very large, the opposing party’s production size is often unknown until it arrives.

eDiscovery Muscle Memory

Do you do eDiscovery every day? How much of your current process is so specific that you have to go back and remember what to do? Or is your system intuitive? A good platform allows you to step away for a few weeks then come back to your project and not have to relearn everything.

Project Frequency

How many projects do you start from scratch? Is it only a few a year or do you handle multiple matters coming in every month? Almost everyone has a variety of cases – maybe small ones frequently and a large one every now and then, or the opposite. Any tool should be able to handle small, medium, and large cases with ease because almost everyone has all of the above. If it’s only good for a certain size case, then it’s time to take a look at what tool suits your practical needs.


Reviewing and coding documents are essentially the same across modern eDiscovery tools, and most users should be able to perform these functions easily. Although data loading has historically been challenging, most eDiscovery software makes it very easy now to get started. Additional skills might be required for irregular or error prone data, such as loose office documents, PDFs, password protected or encrypted files, or corrupt files. Email files like PSTs or MBOX generally do not have these issues.

eDiscovery software developers have done their best to eliminate human and tool error so processing or imaging issues are often related to the data. As tasks get more advanced, such as managing predictive review, analyzing cluster data, or examining reviewer performance, more specific training and expertise is needed. None of these tasks are out of reach of anyone with the desire to learn, but knowing that you have support for whatever you may need to do in your eDiscovery process is crucial to success.

User Base

Project management is directly tied to the number of active users you have reviewing documents in an eDiscovery platform. If you have few, it doesn’t take a lot of management, if you have dozens there is a human cost that is almost completely unrelated to the eDiscovery side of things and more to human management. The amount of total data stored and the number of users is what drives both internal and external costs.


eDiscovery has evolved to streamline the basic functions. That’s a good thing for users because it means there are more options and choice when it comes to eDiscovery software and determining the approach you take. However, there are factors that make certain tools or features rise to the top of the list for the particular projects you have.  Make note of how often you have new projects, how many users you need at any given time, how often you need to rely on support, and how much your project size fluctuates. This will help narrow down the kind of tool that can help you map your path to eDiscovery success. 

Dr. Gavin Manes on Email
Dr. Gavin Manes
CEO at Avansic
Dr. Gavin Manes is a nationally recognized eDiscovery and digital forensics expert. He founded Avansic in 2004 after completing his Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Tulsa. At Avansic, Dr. Manes is committed to high-technology innovation, research, and mentorship, and has several patents pending. Avansic's scientific approach to eDiscovery and digital forensics stems from his academic experience.

Dr. Manes routinely serves as an expert witness including consulting with attorneys on data preservation issues. He contributes academic content to peer-reviewed journals and delivers classroom lectures. See his full CV at gavinmanes.com.

Dr. Manes has published over fifty papers on eDiscovery, digital forensics, and computer security, countless blog posts, and educational presentations to attorneys, executives, professors, law enforcement, and professional groups on topics from eDiscovery to cyber law. He’s briefed the White House, the Department of the Interior, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon on computer security and forensics issues.

At the University, Dr. Manes formed the Tulsa Digital Forensics Center, housing Cyber Crime Units from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. He’s a founder of the University of Tulsa’s Institute for Information Security, leading the creation of nationally recognized research efforts in digital forensics and telecommunications security.

Share this article