How Data Repurposing Can Lower the Cost of Discovery

Welcome to the 21st Century: the age of exponentially increasing data volumes, both national and international data managed by global corporations, reluctance to delete, and reaction to litigation, government investigations, and internal audits. All this, and more, resulting in ever increasing eDiscovery budgets. So, what can we do to lower costs while improving consistency across the board…repurpose your data.

I see two primary components to effectively repurposing data to lower spending:

  1. Maintaining an organized information governance workflow; and
  2. Leveraging already invested time and money by not re-processing or re-reviewing the same data.

Maintaining an Information Governance Workflow to Lower the Cost of Discovery

The far left side of the EDRM has been focused on repurposing data for some time now. Formulating a defensible information governance program necessarily requires a plan of action for getting rid of legacy data, knowing when to clean house of long stored away data archives, and effectively managing litigation holds.

By having a well thought out information governance plan and understanding the data map of your company, you open the door to being able to predict what data will be required for particular types of litigation, thus allowing for the potential to reuse data.

3 Considerations for Data Repurposing

  1. Know what data is involved in ongoing discovery. Re-targeting and re-collecting risk areas and the data repeatedly associated with distinct practice areas.
  2. Break down total number of cases by practice area to start statistically modeling risk areas and the data repeatedly associated with distinct practice areas.
  3. Analyze preservation notices, custodian interview questionnaires, and collection instructions to detect patterns of custodians, data sources and collection efforts for varying types of litigation.

It’s not just important for you to have a solid foundation and understanding of your information governance program, but it’s also vital that your outside counsel and vendor do as well.

Work with the same counsel and vendor who know your data and can assist in your information governance efforts resulting in a scalable and repeatable approach. In essence, your outside counsel and vendor become experts in your institutional knowledge for effectively managing and deploying your information governance framework.

Cost Savings Throughout Processing, Hosting and Review

The idea of reusing your data is not limited to information governance, litigation hold, or collection standpoint, but can be deployed at nearly every stage of the EDRM.


Processing the same documents over and over again across multiple matters is a financial strain to say the least. Complicate that with using disparate vendors and software across multiple matters and you’re in for a real budget breaker. Know what you’ve processed, keep detailed logs, work with the same vendor, and only process net new data.


The same goes for hosting. Maintain interconnected hosting platforms. You can have a main repository that stores everything you’ve collected and processed, then use searching and organization techniques to pull data from the main database to matter-specific databases. This will undoubtedly control hosting costs overall.


Lastly, when you use the same vendor, you can have them sweep for coding choices for individual records in order to reuse coding decisions. I can tell you from personal experience, there is nothing more tedious than marking the same document Not Responsive in multiple different review platforms. Boost your data intelligence by analyzing and reporting on global document history. No one ever said you couldn’t reuse the decisions you made when coding a document, issue codes, or notes across matters. Not only does this save you money, but it promotes coding consistency in a whole new way.

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