Content Standardization: Why Litigation and Classification are Related

By Allison J. Walton | April 11, 2017

The umbrella of information governance is large and encompasses many different facets.

Much of my time spent as an eDiscovery subject matter expert has been focused on enabling clients to be “litigation ready.” It means being prepared to collect and analyze data in-house to review documents pertinent to a matter. There are many reactive tools out there to accomplish this task. However, the focus of this blog is to lay the foundation for organizations to not only be litigation ready in a proactive manner, but to also be “classify ready.”

Litigation readiness and classification readiness are closely related. If you standardize your content into high definition text searchable PDFs, you eliminate issues around dark data.  By digitally preparing content in this manner you reduce the ‘garbage-in-garbage- out’ scenario that most RIM programs suffer from and, as many of our customers have found, you’re better able to automatically categorize your data or support other downstream processes.  Once data is classified, you’re ready for litigation, not to mention all the other benefits having an organized content management system offers. You will know where data relevant to a matter is and you will be able to easily collect that data.

The biggest challenge we continue to see in organizations is their unstructured data. Unstructured data is problematic for multiple reasons, but one reason alone is enough, and that is wasted time and money in collecting irrelevant data for litigation purposes. Yes there are reactive tools to help clean up the mess, but the real question is, why have a mess in the first place?

80-90% Of Enterprise Content is Unstructured

Some questions to consider if your organization is planning on implementing data analytics and/or any type of classification software:

  • Can you standardize your content as part of an enterprise wide workflow into text searchable PDFs?
  • Are you committed to validating rules generated by the system to classify documents automatically?
  • Are you migrating from one Enterprise Content Management system to another? *Intermittent need- don’t be beholden to any platform!
  • Are you concerned about ROT (Redundant Obsolete and Trivial) data in your environment? * Defensible Deletion

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can easily begin to address these concerns across multiple departments by first introducing Advanced Rendering capabilities on a per server basis. By enabling web services across multiple departments and deploying an enterprise wide solution, you are poised to be “classification ready” by standardizing documents.

Standardize, Analyze, Categorize and then Optimize are the themes that run through the “classification ready” process. When an organization standardizes content, they are automatically litigation ready by prepping data for classification. This is a proactive initiative for information governance that has downstream advantages when the expensive and daunting litigation hits. This also holds true for when freedom of information law, regulatory or any other data production requests occur. 

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