ACEDS Christmas Gathering & LawTech Congress!

Having only recently attended my first ever eDiscovery conference, which was the ACEDS UK Launch event in London.  I was still a bit nervous attending a second one, let alone one that is in a foreign country. However, I then remembered how informative the panel was and what a great opportunity it was to meet other professionals in the market. So what better opportunity than the LawTech Congress in Brussels? Being held over two days with 4-5 informative panels each day, it was a great chance for me to broaden my industry knowledge and meet new and old faces – not to mention we were one of the sponsors.

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It wasn’t just the fantastic panelists that were providing informative content, with many of the attendees being interactive in the sessions and providing valuable information whilst incorporating their experiences. It’s not often that a room is filled with so many experienced professionals talking about the same topic(s), so it was a great chance for me to listen and take notes. It wasn’t just in the panels that the attendees were informative; speaking to them outside of the sessions also provided valuable information. Not only did it establish relationships, it told me what they are seeking from the market, where they want the market to be heading and some of the experiences they’ve encountered along the way.

What separated this conference from my previous one was that it wasn’t only dedicated to eDiscovery, it included Cyber Security and Forensic Analytics. All three fields of course have their differences, however it is surprising just how closely connected they all are. Cyber Security is a field that my Managing Director (Amit Pandit) is extremely familiar with having started his career there. For me being a ‘millennial’ and growing up with the new introduced technology, cyber security is something which I am fairly familiar with and is becoming increasingly prominent. Or so I thought.

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It was surprising to see how many law firms, consultancies, and professionals within this environment took cyber security seriously after it was already too late. Estimated figures prove that cyber-attacks are happening more frequently, with some of the main perpetrators being from Russia, China and Turkey. In order to keep up with the current number of attacks the cyber security field would need around 2,000,000 more professionals.  However, with the continuous development of technology this number is expected to increase as more technology is introduced.

A majority of law firms, consultancies, and even people see cyber security as unnecessary expenditure. This was the case for one of the largest entities in the world – Bangladesh Bank. In February 2016 instructions were introduced to steal $951,000,000 from the central bank of Bangladesh. 31 transactions were attempted, with 5 being successful and amounting to $101,000,000. The hackers then filtered $20,000,000 to Sri Lanka (which was recovered) and $80,000,000 to the Philippines (in which only $18,000,000 was recovered). Not only have the Bangladesh Bank suffered a monumental loss of money; they’ve suffered a loss of business, with many customers assuming their money is no longer safe. They’ve also suffered a huge loss to their reputation. More information regarding the attack can be found here: https://www.wired.com/2016/05/insane-81m-bangladesh-bank-heist-heres-know/

Cyber security should not be implemented as a reactive procedure; it should be instilled as a preventative one. Once a hacker has infiltrated your system there’s no telling just what information they’re going to obtain and where they’re going to distribute it. However, it’s not just within the workplace. With new technology such as televisions, microwaves and even health implants incorporating technology which connects to your local network, it is important to ensure that you’re protected at all times. After all I’m sure a large majority wouldn’t leave your home unlocked permanently, so your technological products shouldn’t be any different.

As previously mentioned it was a pleasure to see a large number of you in Brussels, I hope you all img_003511enjoyed your time at the event and found it as beneficial as I did. Should any of you wish to follow up with any conversations we held or alternatively to hear about any opportunities within the market.
You can get in touch using the following details:
+44 (0) 203 643 0248 // zachary@apt-search.co.uk

Furthermore, December 14th ACEDS UK is holding a Christmas Networking event which members of the Apt Search team are attending. It will be a great chance to meet up with fellow eDiscovery / Litigation Support professionals. To find out more about ACEDS membership benefits and to register for the event, feel free to reach out to our MD Amit Pandit – ACEDS Board Director: amit@apt-search.co.uk or the ACEDS Membership Director – James MacGregor: jmacgregor@fronteo.com.

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My First eDiscovery Conference!

Having entered the scene only 10 months ago the realm of eDiscovery is still fairly new to me. Despite not working directly alongside vendors, lawyers, analysts & managers it’s important that I understand what those professionals are looking for within the market. So what’s the best way to discover what they’re looking for? Interaction.

The ACEDS UK Launch Party was a great place to start. Not only was it kicked off with an informative panel hosted by Chris Dale, Dan Wyatt & Ed Spencer, which helped external professionals like myself gain a more intricate understanding of how eDiscovery can play a major part in the litigation process. The event had a very impressive turnout, with over 100 eDiscovery professionals in attendance, many of whom stuck around for the after party.

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At first being the newcomer thrown into a room of 100 professionals you’ve never seen before, most of whom are massively more experienced than you are can be daunting. However, the ACEDS UK Chapter is about unifying these professionals to help expand and better the eDiscovery community. Once you realise that these individuals are attending the event for the same sole reason you are conversations become easier.

For me, it was a great chance to get my name into the market, very rarely will you ever find this many eDiscovery professionals in a room all at the same time. Not only to get my name in the market, it was an excellent chance to show my face and establish some new relationships with professionals covering the whole spectrum of the market.  Additionally it gave me a good insight into the market, speaking to candidates regarding what they enjoy within their roles, working environments & companies gave me valuable information that can be taken away and used to help match candidates to their perfect roles.

Would I recommend attending future similar events? Absolutely, the interaction and unification of the market will not only benefit you, but the market itself. If turnouts continue to be as impressive as this event, then before you know it you’ll have a many new relationships. Regardless of whether you’re just breaking into the scene or a familiar face in the market there will always new connections to be made. Should you wish to find out more information regarding future events, or the ACEDS UK membership, click the following link! https://www.aceds.org/group/UK

Furthermore should you wish to discuss any of our opportunities confidentially get in touch using the following contact details. 0203 643 0248 // zachary@apt-search.co.uk

3 Healthy Habits of Every Successful Analytics Team (kCura)

Our industry exists in an era of fast-paced innovation, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who could successfully argue that new technology, in itself, by itself, is enough. Each product or feature needs to be supported with instructional content that makes the technology accessible and perhaps even attractive to its intended users. Even so, there is only so much a technology creator can do to ensure a positive outcome once the product ships and arrives in the customer’s hands.

We’ve learned that being successful, truly successful, with text analytics requires specific patterns in case teams’ processes. What’s more, customers who take ownership of their analytics success appear to travel very similar paths, and we’d like to spend a bit of time today exploring a few of these trends in the form of three useful tips.
Successful analytics users:

  • Know their data.

Knowing what documents you have and how you expect them to behave in an analytics setting is an essential step in your project planning. We don’t see projects go south very often, but when we do, it is almost always because someone didn’t ask enough questions about the documents with which they’d be working.

For example, they:

Ask if the case hinges on numbers, or if a single word in a contract will determine relevance.
Clean up their text with regular expressions to optimize email threading.
Develop a strategy to identify documents, such as those with poor OCR, which will require separate, manual review.

  • Ask, don’t guess.

Unless you are a seasoned veteran, there comes a time when you might not be sure what to do next. Even the simplest tools might give results that are open to multiple interpretations, or have workflows that perhaps could be tweaked to achieve better results.

In these situations, the more successful users take a minute to stop and ask a technologist—on your team, at a partner, or with your software vendor—to help them interpret their results and assess next actions. This approach is far more preferable to forging ahead and hoping for the best.

For example, they:

Select and groom an internal analytics guru to guide the rest of the team. Having your own point person who masters the tools and achieves certification status not only streamlines and shortens your organization’s decision-making process, but also adds prestige to your team both internally and externally.
Seek out workflow experts before acting. This is decidedly an “ounce of prevention vs. pound of cure” situation. For example, it’s very common for newer users to seek advice early and often during their initial analytics efforts. Once they navigate the process a few times, the need for support drops off precipitously.

  • Practice, practice, practice.

It is said that your first day of review is like your first pancake: You feed it to the dog (I don’t have one, but let’s pretend). You then adjust your temperature and move forward.

The same applies to your first use of analytics. You might get a good result, but only after regular use do you get into a good rhythm of what works and what to expect. Once you have a better feel for how all the pieces fit together, you’ll be able to improvise new workflows and focus on expected results.

Some folks wait for a really big case to get their feet wet in analytics, but this is not necessary. It is much simpler to cut your teeth on many smaller cases, especially when it comes to structured analytics, such as email threading or textual near-duplicate detection.

For example, successful teams:

Thread everything that contains emails, regardless of the project size. We see teams running email threading on data sets as small as 5,000 documents. There is still incredible value to be found in these smaller cases, and the proficiency you gain will only further ensure your success in the bigger cases.

Have internal learning events. One of the more impressive pieces of feedback we’ve received from customers is how they share their experiences internally. Some have regularly scheduled lunch and learns, while others do case studies or retro-analyses on cases once the project closes. Regardless of how you share lessons learned with your colleagues, sharing practical tips and results is a great shorthand type of practice.

Find ways to incorporate analytics into their existing workflows. The most skilled analytics users inevitably see past the myth that analytics usage is an either/or situation. There are many great hybrid options here, such as performing keyword searches with the help of conceptual keyword expansion; using cluster visualization to prioritize data during a manual review; or streamlining a QC review of privileged documents with near-duplicate detection.

Link to the original article! (http://blog.kcura.com/relativity/blog/3-healthy-habits-of-every-successful-analytics-team)