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Preparing for Big Data Battles: How to Win Over AI and Analytics Naysayers

Artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, and machine learning are no longer new to the ediscovery field. While the legal industry admittedly trends towards caution in its embrace of new technology, the ever-growing surge of data is forcing most legal professionals to accept that basic machine learning and AI are becoming necessary ediscovery tools.

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However, the constant evolution and improvement of legal tech bestow an excellent opportunity to the forward-thinking ediscovery legal professional who seeks to triumph over the growing inefficiencies and ballooning costs of older technology and workflow models. Below, we’ll provide you with arguments to pull from your quiver when you need to convince Luddites that leveraging the most advanced AI and analytics solutions can give your organization or law firm a competitive and financial advantage, while also reducing risk.

Argument 1: “We already use analytical and AI technology like Technology Assisted Review (TAR) when necessary. Why bring on another AI/analytical tool?”

Solutions like TAR and other in-case analytical tools remain worthwhile for specific use cases (for example, standalone cases with massive amounts of data, short deadlines, and static data sets). However, more advanced analytical technology can now be used to provide incredible insight into a wider variety of cases or even across multiple matters. For example, newer solutions now have the ability to analyze previous attorney work product across a company’s entire legal portfolio, giving legal teams unprecedented insight into institutional challenges like identifying attorney-client privilege, trade secret information, and irrelevant junk data that gets pulled into cases and re-reviewed time and time again. This gives legal teams the ability to make better decisions about how to review documents on new matters.

Additionally, new technology has become more powerful, with the ability to run multiple algorithms and search within metadata, where older tools could only use single algorithms to search text alone. This means that newer tools are more effective and efficient at identifying critical information such as privileged communications, confidential information, or protected personal information. In short, printing out roadmap directions was advanced and useful at the time, but we’ve all moved on to more efficient and reliable methods of finding our way.

Argument 2: “I don’t understand this technology, so I won’t use it”

This is one of the easiest arguments to overcome. A good ediscovery solution provider can offer a myriad of options to help users understand and leverage the advances in analytics and AI to achieve the best possible results. Whether you want to take a hands-off approach and have a team of experts show you what is possible (“Here are a million documents. Show me all the documents that are very likely to be privileged by next week”), or you want to really dive into the technology yourself (“Show me how to use this tool so that I can delve into the privilege rate of every custodian across multiple matters in order to effectuate a better overall privilege review strategy”), a quality solution provider should be able to accommodate. Look for providers that offer training and have the ability to clearly explain how these new technologies work and how they will improve legal outcomes. Your provider should have a dedicated team of analytics experts with the credentials and hands-on experience to quell any technology fears.  

Argument 3: “This technology will be too expensive.”

Again, this one should be a simple argument to overcome. The efficiencies that the effective use of AI and analytics achieve can far outweigh the cost to use it. Look for a solution provider that offers a variety of predictable pricing structures, like per gig pricing, flat fee, fees generated by case, fees generated across multiple cases, or subscription-based fees. Before presenting your desired solution to stakeholders, draft your battle plan by preparing a comparison of your favored pricing structure vs. the cost of performing a linear review with a traditional pricing structure (say, $1 per doc). Also, be sure to identify and outline any efficiencies a more advanced analytical tool can provide in future cases (for example, the ability to analyze and re-use past attorney work product). Finally, when battling against risk-averse stakeholders, come armed with a cost/benefit analysis outlining all of the ways in which newer AI can mitigate risk, such as by enabling more accurate and consistent work product, case over case.

To discuss this topic more, feel free to connect with me at RHellewell@lighthouseglobal.com.