Helpful Tips and Tricks for Searching in Relativity

Many of my colleagues and clients I’ve worked with have been pretty resistant to Relativity’s new UI, especially when it comes to searching.

I’m not going to lie it took me a little while but once I started using the new UI (honestly it’s not that new anymore so let’s just call it when searching in Relativity) in earnest, I honestly haven’t gone back. So with that in mind here are some helpful tips, tricks and minor updates when searching in Relativity.

Note: Click on each image to enlarge it.

Searching in Relativity Using New UI

In the old UI a majority of my searches were created under the Saved Searches Browser. Now, I find myself creating a lot of my initial searches from the Folders browser. I don’t have to add a ton of initial fields to my search as I already have all the fields from the View I’m using. Here are a few reasons why this is helpful:

I can putz around at the top level or within specific folders and apply all sorts of Filters and Conditions.

Don’t see a field in your View, no worries; just add it as a Condition:

As you apply Filters and Conditions you’ll start to see them build out in your Search Panel. Filters will have orange shading whereas Conditions will be white. The fun part is when you get to building Logic Groups. These essentially act as visual parenthesis for your search (remember back to high school math? Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, similar thing here).

And when you’ve created your amazing search with the exact documents you were looking for save it for later with the handy dandy Save as Search button (located next to the edit button).

Additional Searching Best Practices in the New UI

1. Turn on your auto-run searches options. It’ll make life a lot easier.

2. If your search panel is missing, don’t panic (like I did the first time I didn’t see it), take a deep breath and expand it back to it’s original size and location via the Expand Search Panel button. 

So I’m sure that was super helpful, but what are some other cool things I can do when I’m just starting out and learning how to search? Glad you asked.

General Relativity Search Tips

Now that you have your great search, you’ll want to pull in family members.

Before I keep going, here is a quick definition for “family members” in eDiscovery: Typically it’s going to be an email and it’s attachment where the email is the parent and the children are the attachments, together forming a family. Keep in mind it doesn’t just have to be emails, it can also include other file types that have attachments.

Your first step is to go to the Saved Searches browser and edit your search including the relational value of family.

Next, modify the name of your original search a bit and then utilize the Save As & Search function. This way you’re not overwriting your original search, leveraging the work you’ve already performed and now further seeing the relationships these documents have.

OK so I added families and now my search is running slow, what gives?

Well this does happen from time to time as it can be fairly intensive based on your conditions to find all the family members, so here’s a couple of ways to potentially speed that search up a bit.

First try this workaround using the Query hint of HASHJOIN:TRUE.

This isn’t something you want to apply to all searches, however, it can help increase speeds when adding relational values.

Secondly we’ve found that by adjusting the sort order to start with an unpopulated Yes/No field and then you’re sort order it will improve speeds as well.

And finally if it’s just a beastly search it’s always a good idea to either tag the records or create a List of the records and then base your search on the tag or List.

Relativity Searching Best Practices Takeaways:

Before everyone gets all excited and goes off creating searches here are some best practices I would recommend:

1. Create folders in the Saved Searches browser. If you just have a bunch of loose searches it will get messy fast.

2. Just leave your searches Public, making them Private just tends to be more of a headache then it’s worth. Plus that’s what the folders are for.

3. Avoid using the Is Like operator. Yes, I know there are times when you have no other options, however, this operator will slow down performance.

4. Be careful when searching on object fields i.e. the Production:: fields. You’re limiting your results to only values existing on that object.

5. Utilize the Search Term Reports via Report and Tag instead of using complex search terms.

6. Avoid nested searches. Again, I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable. Fine then at least limit it to 3 or so. Any more and you’re going to have issues.

7. Searching for Email Address? There are a couple of ways to do this more effectively. Ask us about our Communication Analysis Dashboard, hint, it’s pretty cool.

8. And finally make sure you’re aware of the fields included in your dtSearch. If you’re not seeing the term in the text body, maybe that’s because it’s in a field included in the index.

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