Most of us will agree that the massive growth and sophistication of Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Networking and related technologies in specifically the last three to five years, have driven what can be perhaps the most clear presentations of cause and effect, yin and yang, and even supply and demand in recent market history. In the world of e-discovery, I see Big Data as the most looming factor driving this change and growth, knowing that in 2011 we learned that Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) was found to be doubling or tripling every two years, with estimates of 1.8 Zettabytes (1.8 trillion GB), where 85 percent of that data lived in private business domains subject to litigation, and hence down-cycle e-discovery preservation, collection, document review (ouch!) and document production costs.
Fast forwarding to 2016: we see the simultaneous forces of expansion and contraction operating within Big Data. On one hand—the continued advancement of mobile, remote, personal data sources and penetration of consumer devices and technologies, all for use in generating business content, plays a known but often ignored or under-diagnosed symptom contributing to this unprecedented proliferation of Big Data. On the other hand, the development and fairly recent sophistication around Big Data mining and analytics technology has worked to reduce and make manageable this otherwise massive and complex e-discovery data playing field. We are somewhat paradoxically therefore simultaneously increasing the volume and complexity of dispute evidentiary data sources and volumes, while later working to decrease and reduce this same volume and complexity to a more manageable and therefore less costly amount as it pertains to the discovery phases of a litigation or regulatory investigation matter.