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Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery: Reducing the Challenges and Costs in Your Legal Proceedings

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery: Reducing the Challenges and Costs in Your Legal Proceedings

The new Advanced eDiscovery tool from Microsoft is groundbreaking while it uses machine learning to find the most valuable data quickly and without the use of expensive outside legal assistance.

eDiscovery, short for electronic discovery, is the process of finding, gathering and generating electronically stored information (ESI) in order to research information or incidences. Many times eDiscovery is required in the litigation process. It can include emails, instant messaging, documents, presentations, CAD/CAM files, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media, and web sites, and any other electronic information that could be significant evidence in a lawsuit. It can be an expensive, time consuming process, but Microsoft has created a solution that allows you to quickly and efficiently investigate and meet legal obligations with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery utilizes machine learning, predictive coding, and text analytics to analyze large, unstructured data sets and focus the data that's most relevant to a legal case. Utilizing these tools, Advanced eDiscovery sorts through thousands of messages, emails, and documents to find relevant files. The application also eliminates duplicate files, reconstructs email threads, and identifies themes and data relationships that are the most relevant to your case. This reduces the cost and headache of the legal and compliance challenges companies face when trying to manage large quantities of electronic data.

Predictive Coding

With predictive coding in Advanced eDiscovery you can "train" the system to automatically determine if a data element is relevant or not by making decisions on a small set of the data. The system then looks to see what decision you made and applies that logic towards making decisions on relevancy for the larger data set. With that logic in place, it will also look to create a relevance ranking so that you can see what documents will most likely be the most relevant to your particular case. When you are paying by the hour for legal assistance, the potential cost savings of this tool can be tremendous.

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery predictive coding

Near-duplicate Detection

When you have teams constantly working on documents and sending them back and forth, odds are you will have multiple versions of the same document across your platform. Typically, you'd have to take one of your current employees off of their usual tasks or hire outside legal teams to review each of these documents and those costs can quickly add up. Even if the resources are there to support individual sorting, you could have different employees looking at different versions of the same document, which is a huge waste of valuable time! With near-duplicate detection you can have resource review a group of similarly structured documents, eliminating the manpower, time, and money normally needed.

Email Threading

We all know the feeling of receiving an email in our inbox that is at least five emails long with the same information from every reply, creating an incredibly long thread. Within advanced eDiscovery, the system looks to identify the unique messages from the email thread, eliminates duplicate messages, which allows you to focus on unique messages instead of the same ones over and over again.

Near-duplicate Detection

When you have teams constantly working on documents and sending them back and forth, odds are you will have multiple versions of the same document across your platform. Typically, you'd have to take one of your current employees off of their usual tasks or hire outside legal teams to review each of these documents and those costs can quickly add up. Even if the resources are there to support individual sorting, you could have different employees looking at different versions of the same document, which is a huge waste of valuable time! With near-duplicate detection you can have resource review a group of similarly structured documents, eliminating the manpower, time, and money normally needed.

Export for Review

When you export your case data with Advanced eDiscovery from Office 365, it includes a CSV file that contains all your document properties from the exported data along with the analytics metadata. After exporting, you can load the CSV file into the eDiscovery review application and maintain the analytics information. The export can then be imported to create searches in the eDiscovery review application.

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery export

How to Get Started with eDiscovery and Advanced eDiscovery

To get eDiscovery, you must have at least an E3 license. The Office 365 E3 plans include the ability to do eDiscovery across a customer’s 365 information. The eDiscovery tool also has the ability to define searches based on a number of criteria including from, to, date range, subject line, etc. However, it lacks a way to score, filter, or remove duplicates from the search like the Advanced eDiscovery tool.

Advanced eDiscovery requires an Office 365 E3 license with the added Advanced Compliance add-on or the purchase of the new Office 365 E5 subscription. To analyze a user’s data using Advanced eDiscovery, the custodian of the data must be assigned an Office 365 E5 license. Alternatively, users with an Office 365 E1 or E3 license can be assigned an Advanced eDiscovery standalone license. You don’t have to purchase a license for every mailbox being searched. Administrators and compliance officers who are assigned to cases and use Advanced eDiscovery to analyze data don’t need an E5 license.

You also have to be a member of the eDiscovery Manager role group in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to create an eDiscovery case and add members to it. To add yourself to the eDiscovery manager role group in Security & Compliance, you must be a global administrator in your Office 365 organization. If you’re not a global administrator, you’ll have to ask a global administrator to add you to the eDiscovery Manager role group .

Have any additional questions? – Contact us today!


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