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3 Office 365 features that make eDiscovery a breeze

The growth of business data is too rapid for any manual or traditional method of processing. Processing and sifting through a company’s data has become nearly impossible given the sheer speed and volume by which data is produced and housed in an organization’s digital tools and databases.

Electronic discovery or eDiscovery is the automated process of identifying, collecting, reviewing, and exchanging business data for use in litigation or investigation. Unsurprisingly, eDiscovery is a long and complicated process. But this has birthed an entire industry of solutions for its various stages, with Microsoft’s Office 365 being just one of them. What makes Office 365’s eDiscovery feature unique?

Microsoft’s enterprise productivity suite, Office 365, has built-in tools that can process eDiscovery requests by going through data scattered among its many tools easily, quickly, and cost-efficiently. Let’s take a look at Content Search, eDiscovery Cases, and Advanced eDiscovery.

What is Content Search and eDiscovery Cases?

eDiscovery is the core function of Office 365’s Security and Compliance Center. Its Content Search uses criteria like keywords, custodians, and date ranges to identify, preserve, and collect business data scattered in Office 365’s suite of cloud-based tools, such as Exchange Online mailboxes, Office 365 groups, Teams, Skype for Business conversations, Sharepoint Online, and OneDrive for Business sites.

Without analysis capabilities, Content Search’s results can become bloated with irrelevancies if the volume of unstructured data is massive. When that happens, identifying relevant content requires a professional third-party solution. However, organizations now have the option to do it themselves with Office 365’s Advanced eDiscovery powerful data management and analytics features.

eDiscovery Cases is another basic eDiscovery functionality in the Security and Compliance Center. It’s a management tool that allows organizations to control who can create, access, and manage eDiscovery workflows for legal investigations. This preserves content locations from being tampered with and prevents unwanted eyes by placing them on hold. The Content Search tool can go through those locations to find content that needs to be extracted. Case content can then be prepared for further analysis by third-parties or through Advanced eDiscovery.

What are the benefits of Content Search and eDiscovery Cases?

Their primary advantage is enabling organizations their own preliminary searches and early data assessments for legal proceedings and investigations. This kind of in-house search and assessment is quick, cost-effective, and is secure, since it doesn’t expose corporate data to external eyes.

Using eDiscovery Cases, requests for relevant content can easily be entertained. There’s no need for content to be moved, archived for preservation, and indexed for search.

And because Microsoft designed Office 365 for the cloud, it gives its eDiscovery tools global availability. They can be used in any locale or situation where an organization needs to find and access content for legal, compliance, and investigation purposes. It isn’t restricted to on-premises collection of data.

What is Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

Available for customers with Microsoft Enterprise E5 licenses, Advanced eDiscovery adds analysis capabilities with text analytics, predictive coding, machine learning, and optical character recognition. Organizations can assess the relevance of all documents, remove redundancies and irrelevancies from data sets, and then automatically cluster the remaining documents.

What are the benefits of Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

Advanced eDiscovery makes in-house case assessment much easier and more cost effective. Through predictive coding, it separates relevant from irrelevant documents and detects documents that have similar or identical content. It also eliminates email threading or only recognizes the new, unique messages in an email thread, removing earlier copied content in previous messages.

These functions dramatically reduce the work needed to gather content and the size of data exports. Without these Advanced eDiscovery capabilities, huge amounts of data from Content Search can be bloated with irrelevant and duplicate data.

With machine learning, advanced text analytics, and multi-dimensional analyses of data collections, Advanced eDiscovery allows you to explore an organization’s unstructured corporate data and find what you need, making quick informed decisions on case strategies possible.

Looking for relevant data for legal cases in your organization doesn’t have to be difficult. Not only does Office 365 have a suite of productivity tools to make collaborative work and communication better, it also makes legal investigations and corporate security and compliance easier and more cost-effective. Contact us and let Terminal B’s experts help make your eDiscovery tasks so much easier with Office 365.

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