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What are the biggest challenges for data collection?

New research sheds light on the various hurdles that law departments face when it comes to collecting data.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 16 November 2021 Corporate Counsel
What are the biggest challenges for data collection?
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Global legal software provider Relativity has released its Maximising Collections in an Evolving e-Discovery Environment report, undertaken by Ari Kaplan Advisors, which examines the current landscape and challenges associated with data collections for law departments.

“The pace of change in the ways we communicate continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Along with that change comes dramatic, sometimes underappreciated, implications that impact the effectiveness, scalability, and viability of traditional workflows for data collection in the e-discovery process,” said Relativity chief product officer Chris Brown.

In August and September of this year, Ari Kaplan interviewed 30 in-house e-discovery professionals about the collection of data in today’s climate, how their efforts have evolved, and what areas they expect to see further transformation.


Varying data sources was identified by 40 per cent of respondents as the most significant concern their teams have with regards to data collection, with 70 per cent listing this in their top three concerns.

Growing data volumes was the second most prominent choice (30 per cent), with 57 per cent putting it in their top three.

Disparate and non-integrated collection tools or methods is the headline issue for 13 per cent of law department leaders, and almost half (47 per cent) see it as a top-three issue.

Compounding, or at least giving rise to, these perceived challenges is the fact that three in four (73 per cent) have had their companies change the ways they perform data collection in the last two years, 40 per cent have a lack of understanding of integrated collection and review solutions, 37 per cent have ill-defined retention policies, and a misalignment across IT and legal departments, as well as a lack of investment in collection solutions, is being faced by one-third (33 per cent) of in-house teams.

Moreover, almost all (93 per cent) of in-house lawyers have seen data volumes grow over the last two years, and to adapt, those teams are having to develop targeted collection protocols, focus on preservation in place, provide more comprehensive education on data retention and disposition, and are looking to leverage AI and analytics.

Speaking about the research, Ari Kaplan Advisors principal Ari Kaplan – who authored the report – said that in-house e-discovery leaders are “innovatively approaching collections and creatively adapting to a perpetually shifting litigation landscape”.

E-Discovery, Relativity noted, is “often in a dynamic state of perpetual change”.

“From technology and processes to talent and development, the pandemic altered the location from which most professionals in the sector manage their responsibilities, but it has not diminished the creativity they apply to an increasingly complex data landscape or the collaborative solutions they deploy to ensure the success of their respective businesses,” it wrote. 

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