ECA Document Review
April 5th

Can Early Case Assessment Tools Reduce Review Costs?

George Socha
George Socha

Can Early Case Assessment Tools Reduce Review Costs?

Document review has long been a part of the electronic discovery process that tends to be tedious and arduous, not to mention expensive. When you're faced with too much data and too little budget, you need the fastest path to critical information. That’s where early case assessment tools can help. ECA tools present the opportunity to reduce overall review costs while saving you time and money. Read on for the full story.

Why are Review Costs so High?

Did you know review typically consumes about 73 percent of the costs from document collection through production? One reason document review costs so much is the sheer amount of data in modern cases. With the volume of electronically stored information (ESI) constantly rising, law firms and legal teams are tasked with reviewing increasingly larger data sets. 

According to experts, the world has collectively generated about 33 zettabytes of data. If loaded onto Blu-ray discs and stacked, that data would reach the moon four times over, and we only expect those numbers to continue growing. In 2025, it’s estimated that governments, corporations and individuals will accumulate 175 zettabytes of data, that’s a 61% compound annual growth rate. Add in the continued development of platforms designed to create and share information online, and the challenge of analyzing this data will only grow. 

The challenges of review don’t come solely from the volume of data, but also from the complexity of data. With so many new ways of communicating and storing information, in legal matters we find ourselves having to pull data analytics from ever more diverse data sources. eDiscovery tools have evolved to accommodate that. 

While Reveal’s robust eDiscovery platform and simple, affordable pricing model go a long way to help control discovery costs, we all know that the more data there is, the bigger the review costs will be. So what options do we offer to organizations with high data volumes who want to diminish review costs? The key is ECA.

How Early Case Assessment Tools Help Cut Costs

ECA Tools Reduce Risk

Early case assessment tools give lawyers the power to better understand their case early on, helping them more effectively plan for the rest of the case and scope the work to be done moving forward. The insights gained during early assessment deliver greater control over the rest of the ediscovery process as well as shedding light on previously unanticipated risks.

Risk evaluation, a core ECA function, allows lawyers to make smarter decisions at the earliest stage of a matter. Part of the risk being evaluated is the cost. A good ECA tool will help understand what you are up against – how much data, of what types, covering what time frames, for example – so you can better judge whether you have the financial resources and technological capabilities needed to review content cost-effectively. And it will help you make these decisions before you have poured many hours and even more dollars into review. 

ECA Tools Reduce the Volume of Content Promoted to Review 

The ability to cull data early on lets you reduce the volume of ESI that will be pushed to document review. If you have an ECA tool that helps identify junk mail, locate content totally unrelated to the matter, and detect duplicate documents, you can send significantly less data to review, cutting those high review costs. And the more advanced your ECA tool (see our section on AI for ECA below), the more you'll save. 

ECA tools can help with culling by enabling early development of search terms and other criteria for locating potentially pertinent data and key documents in your legal matter. Early case assessment tools can also present a broad overview of the available data, allowing you to make smarter culling decisions and more accurately predict the amount of work that review will entail. This can save a lot of time and effort later in the case, allowing you to redirect resources to more valuable tasks.

ECA Tools Leverage Resources Better

Using ECA tools can help you better leverage your resources. If ECA enables you to set aside unwanted content and focus on data that truly is of interest, your reviewers will be more productive, your reviews should be smaller, and you ought to get actionable results faster – all leading to a more cost-effective document review.

AI as an Early Case Assessment Tool

One of our favorite ECA tools for cutting review costs are the artificial intelligence capabilities built into Reveal AI and Brainspace. While some think AI is useful only during document review, you really ought to deploy AI tools early in the eDiscovery process. You can use them in workflows to filter out junk, find responsive documents, and prioritize key content. That way, when you get to review you increase your chances of looking at relevant data first. 

If you truly take advantage of Reveal’s interactive data visualization and machine learning capabilities during the case assessment stage, it can be a huge time saver and cost-cutter.

AI Model Library & Marketplace 

Reveal's AI models offer a powerful new way to improve your early case assessment process. Reveal’s AI model marketplace features AI models pre-trained by Reveal’s data science team to accomplish specific tasks such as locating comments on appearance, finding out-of-office notifications, and identifying advertisements.

Rather than spending your valuable time building AI models from scratch, you can take advantage of the work Reveal already has done for you. Select an appropriate AI model, point it at your data, and go. 

For those so inclined, you can get a step farther. Build your own custom extensions to the models available in Reveal’s library or create your own reusable models from the ground up.

Reveal's AI models such as Threatening Behavior, Asking for Advice and Comments on Appearance can even analyze the emotional sentiment in a document, analyze data based on the context, and account for the relationship between actors in the conversation. It's more than just eDiscovery software looking for certain words in documents and flagging them. Reveal's AI looks for what people are trying to communicate and why and what the relationship dynamics are, building a more complete picture of your case strategy among the relevant documents. 

Reveal: ECA Tools Built-in

Reveal’s early case assessment tools are included as part of Reveal’s end-to-end, AI-powered eDiscovery platform.  From processing through production, we have implemented cutting-edge AI technology at every stage to enable law firms and legal teams to make smarter, faster, and more informed decisions.  Our ECA capabilities is just the tip of the iceberg in your ability to get to key content and develop essential insights quickly. 

If your organization is interested in leveraging the power of early case assessment tools, contact Reveal to learn more. We’ll be happy to show you how our ECA tools take your discovery project to the next level, with our AI-powered, end-to-end document review platform.