What is Processing?

If you work with an eDiscovery vendor more than likely you have heard the term "processing".  You might have thought to yourself "Okay, so my data is processing, that's good - I think."

So, what exactly does that mean?

Is that just a techie term we throw out at you to make you think that we are doing work?

No, actually the word "processing" is the best non-tech way we can describe what we are doing.  I mean, if you REALLY want us to give you the details you might need to have an Excedrin bottle nearby.  

Processing means that we are taking the data which you have provided to us, and we are using our software tools to convert it and organize it in a way to make it easier for you to manage.  With the enormous volume of data now, you will need some help with it.  Many years ago, it was only paper and all we had to do was scan the paper and covert the text to make them searchable.  It is a lot different today with media files, different file formats and weeding out system files.

So, basically processing can me several things.

When you first give us the data, we have to determine what we have and what we need to do with the data.  We will attempt to image any of the data if it is possible.  That means if you have a bunch of Microsoft Word files, we attempt to convert them into an image which will make it easier to read the document than attempting to open Microsoft Word every time.  Any data which cannot be imaged are imaged with a placeholder which is an image that will tell you "Hey, we couldn't image this one but here's how you can view it (if it can be viewed)"

As you can imagine, with hundreds of different file types, there are many ways to put them in a format which can be organized and searched by you later.  In the "old days" we would simply print everything out.  Well, you can't exactly do that anymore (although I worked with many who still attempted).  Processing also means that the work isn't just pushing one-button on the keyboard and some magic computer software does the rest.  Although things are easier than they used to be, it still takes quite a bit of work to get the data in the format needed for searching.  I assure you it is not just a one-button operation.  Data isn't always easy to work with and there are many blips and issues along the way when working with data as well as the size of the data.

I guess you could say that "processing" is a process.  There are many "processes" the data must go through from when we receive it to the final part where you see when you search in the platform you are using.  One of the things to keep in mind is to not rush the process.  Obviously, you have deadlines with the work you are doing and court-imposed demands you must meet; however, the more time allowed for processing, the better quality you will have to work with.  Rushing increases the possibilities for mistakes to be made and this is something that we don't want to happen.  Communication is very important in successful processing.

As always, if you need further assistance with eDiscovery, please contact a litigation support vendor.



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