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Aligning Information Governance and eDiscovery

Published May 17, 2022

By Nick Inglis

In my book Advancing from eDiscovery to Prediscovery, I provide a deep dive into the current state, process evaluation, and future state of Information Governance and eDiscovery, as well as how these disciplines can be aligned.

In this third in a three-part blog series about the book, I will summarize the third section, focusing specifically on the future state of aligning these two disciplines.

The future state for Information Governance and eDiscovery takes advantage of interdisciplinary bridges that may or may not exist today. If you’re starting anew at your organization, a great place to start is to start with your internal partnerships with information sub-disciplines, as the future of Information Governance and eDiscovery is going to be ever more powered by these connections.

In the book, I offer images of the professions, where Information Governance is at the left, eDiscovery at the right, with a gap between the disciplines that I label insights.

When you align the two, you start to identify a new pathway between the disciplines that can yield various insights into processes and data that you previously couldn’t capture.

For early adopters of this new alignment, both processes move a bit faster after efficacy and efficiency reengineering.

Finding passive insights between IG and eDiscovery

You can achieve new benefits and drive the future of Information Governance through the concept of Passive Insight Capture (PIC). PIC is how you can leverage the partnerships between disciplines and move Information Governance forward.

This new way of thinking uses five steps in a primarily linear direction, as opposed to 8 steps that are non-linear of the classic EDRM.

In eDiscovery, reviewers (in most cases) are looking for three things – items responsive to the particular case, items unresponsive to the specific case, and items of privilege (attorney-client). However, the reality is that reviewers often find other valuable things: PII, PCI, PHI, ROT, duplicate items, and so much more.

The problem, though, while these findings are potentially helpful for the organization, they’re not beneficial for the process that the reviewer is going through: namely, review for a case. That’s where the new process, and automation, must step in.

Through Passive Insight Capture, you can apply AI and Machine Learning technologies behind-the-scenes of the review process and leverage the reviewer as a validator of findings.

A new circular process combining IG and eDiscovery

When you capture these “insights”, where do they go and what can you do with them? With the new aligned process, they become remediation alerts for the professionals leveraging the Information Governance portion of the software.

Through Passive Insight Capture, you can collect insights through the eDiscovery process (without adding or changing your current workflow) and deliver those crucial insights to the Information Governance professional who can use their process (usually a “one-time project”) to act upon the PIC alert.

The result of this Passive Insight Capture loop is optimization of your information environment. Without changing how people interact with information, you’ve created a new improvement point between the disciplines – all by leveraging processes that already exist in your organization

By improving the eDiscovery process and tying in the Information Governance process, you can unlock a myriad of benefits:

  • Drive faster results in eDiscovery (through the improved process)
  • Monetary savings from faster eDiscovery (through the improved process)
  • Monetary savings from better browse/search times across an organization
  • Monetary savings from ongoing information environment optimization (by leveraging PIC)
  • Faster relevance in eDiscovery through continuous information environment optimization (by leveraging PIC)
  • Leverage a new source to drive improvements in Information Governance (PIC alerts)