How do we successfully process hundreds of terabytes each year?
In a cookie-cutter world, where every project follows established norms, this would be easy to accomplish. In the real world, where source applications differ by custodian and a single email can travel through multiple mail clients in its lifecycle, one soon learns that “simple” ESI processing projects are few and far between. iControl ESI knows that the key to quality processing is three fold: Excellent all-around communication, thorough process planning and documentation, and solid execution.
There are three primary contact points at work during a processing project: the Client-side Project Manager, the iControl ESI Senior Project Manager, and the iControl ESI Director of Operations. These three people work together in determining project specifications and timelines, and in resolving questions that arise during processing. iControl ESI looks to establish rules for handling commonly seen exceptions prior to starting the processing project. We also work to define the timing and type of formal reporting expected during our engagement, and follow through on providing the agreed-upon reporting throughout the life of the project. To provide structure around the project, and to ensure the most critical elements are thoroughly illuminated, we schedule formal kickoff meetings, not just at the onset of the case, but prior to each new phase of work (collection, processing, predictive coding, review and production).
2 Planning & Documentation
We work with you to develop a processing strategy that best fits the downstream needs of your case. Wherever possible, we implement solutions that fit within our archive of previously documented best practices, but where exceptions are required, we modify our documentation to account for changes in step-by-step detail, and also create documented QC processes for those changes. We utilize a proprietary project management database that contains the processing specifications for each data set, tracks the QC results at each step, stores rigorously-kept project notes, and provides for seamless transitions between the Project Manager, Director of Operations, Shift Managers, and Operators.
Each member of iControl ESI’s processing department has been thoroughly trained and tested prior to working live projects that are commensurate with his or her skill level. At the outset of each project, the Operator meets with the Shift Manager and the Director of Operations to review the job specifications and QC requirements. The Operator then builds out the project’s import requirements in our next-gen processing environment, the Mindseye Discovery Platform. The import requirements are checked by the Shift Manager, who again checks the results of the first data set imported. With the import specifications dialed in, the Operator works through the remaining data sets. Once all of the data sets are imported, which includes flattening all container files to the nth level, assigning a unique ID to each original file, deNISTing or performing other bulk exclusions, extracting metadata and text from all files, hashing all files, applying OCR to all requested file types, and resolving all possible exceptions (at the container or item level), the data is indexed and ready for complex searching. Once search terms and date restrictions are finalized, the Operator, Shift Manager and Director of Operations undertake a similar process to ready the platform for export.
iControl ESI rigorously tested six well-known processing tools over a two-year timespan, and processed more than twenty terabytes of test data in Mindseye specifically, before officially selecting it as our primary data processing platform. Since November of 2013, every MB of data we have processed has been processed in the Mindseye Discovery Platform. Though we have used several different processing engines since 1999, we made the decision to employ only one platform for three important reasons: to ensure all Operators, Operations Managers and Project Managers master the platform, to ensure consistent processing results across all matters, and to focus our development team’s activities on manipulating and migrating data from a single source.
The Mindseye Discovery Platform has certain advantages over its competitors that are very important to our clients. Chief among these advantages is Mindseye’s flexibility surrounding deduplication options; with Mindseye, we are able to report document counts and search results as though the data has been deduplicated ‘within custodian’ or ‘globally,’ allowing you greater visibility into your fundamental decision making. We are also able to adjust the custodian priority order at any time prior to export; this is not only a convenience for you, it allows us greater ability to balance overall processing speed vs. outcome needs. Mindseye also has useful features that allow us to create a single database of processed custodian-specific data, to search against that data in nearly unlimited ways and in combination with other data sets in the master repository, creating a powerful platform for repurposing data across multiple matters.
Feature-Rich Analytics Accessibility
Mindseye’s Analytics are both feature-rich and user-accessible. For clients in search of a robust ECA tool that can be affordably employed against cases of any size, Mindseye is an excellent option. Its graphic interfaces rate among the best in the business, not only in terms of their appealing look, but in their functionality. With multiple ways to search and organize relevant documents, Mindseye allows you to seamlessly transfer work done in the ECA tool over to our industry-leading review platform, RECENSEO.
Alternative Access Points
Mindseye provides you with valuable alternative access points to your data. In one model, we complete the search and analysis work and then provide meaningful reports to you for use in iterative culling. Alternatively, you can access the Mindseye database directly via the web, and perform your own search and analysis in a hands-on manner. This feature is most often used by clients who are heavily leveraging the analytics engine. Clients engaged in search term iteration typically prefer to work through their iControl ESI Project Manager.