Once electronic records became admissible in court, the quest to gather, manage and audit those records became one of the most important elements of a corporation's legal staff.
Add to that a judicial system that has become more tech-savvy, and the excuse that the records "were lost" just doesn't fly any longer. Those issues have driven impressive growth in the data archiving and storage market, which in turn has created a new but related problem-retrieving relevant data.
That's where e-discovery comes into play. Before e-discovery tools became available, those searching for data relevant to a case had to manually search through data stores to build a silo of pertinent information.
One worry was that some critical element would be missed, while another worry was that information not relevant to the case would be mixed in. Auditors and researchers found themselves turning to more and more indexing tools to help manage the data, yet the very nature of each case requirement would render some of those indexes useless.
For example, if a researcher needed to locate all correspondence with an individual named "Smith," an index could be built around the name "Smith," but if the requirements changed to include an address instead of a name, a new index would need to be created, leaving the original index for "Smith" useless. What's more, the amount of time and effort expended organizing the data can quickly add up, creating excessive costs and possibly creating missed deadlines.
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