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Kroll's eDiscovery Benchmarks

Last year, Kroll released a very interesting report showing trends in the data it collected, processed, reviewed and produced between 2008 and 2013. The report, "The Pulse Benchmarks" can be downloaded here. Kroll's report states that the growth of Big Data has caused a rise in the number of GBs collected per case between 2008 and 2013. But if you look at the graph in the report you'll see that the average was 444 GB in 2008 and 479 GB in 2013 - really not that much difference. These figures might be most helpful serving as a benchmark for what constitutes a big case or a small case. More than 1 TB would be big by Kroll's standards, less than 100 GB is certainly small.

The chart shows an interesting development in the sources of ESI in 2013. While ESI collected from CDs and DVDs predictably tailed off between 2008 and 2013, the amount collected from tape suddenly dropped from 25 to 7 per cent between 2012 and 2013. There was an explosion in data transferred via FTP from 8 per cent in 2008 to 54 per cent in 2013, with a jump of 21 per cent from 2012! The use of hard drives as a source also seems to have clearly peaked around 2009.

Deduplicating ESI across data sets, as opposed to for individual custodians, has become more common, but more interestingly the average number of custodians loaded in review databases plummeted from 65 in 2008 to 16 in 2013, a steady downward trend between 2008 and 2013.

The report notes that, "Large cases have a more even split between loose files and email, whereas small cases tend to be more emailcentric." Kroll credits its filtering technology at reducing the average size of a production volume from 100 GB in 2008, to 30 GB in 2013. Finally while in 2008, 50 per cent of reviewed documents were produced, in 2013 only 13 per cent were produced.

It should be noted that Gartner's October report on eDiscovery software emphasizes the Kroll's platform is mainly focused on Review and relies in part on third party vendors for data collection -- perhaps a reason to give its benchmarks less weight.

Still the Kroll report is good reason to think that the continuing explosion of Big Data is not a reason to think that eDiscovery related legal work will also grow.

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