REVIEWERS: Mark Walker, director of consulting services, and Ryan Nichols, technical sales engineer for Forensics Consulting Solutions.
BACKGROUND: Founded in 2001, FCS is a consulting firm with a global reach that includes North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Working with a select group of clients, FCS has been an integral contributor to a number of high-profile litigation and M&A activities.
PLATFORMS: Windows 2003/2008, SQL Server 2005/2008, Citrix/RSA SecurID.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Unlike most platforms, Lateral Data’s Viewpoint is a true all-in-one offering. Many platforms can host data, but must have initial processing done in another application. Viewpoint can load either unprocessed data such as loose PST and NSF files or previously processed data in native or tiff format. In addition, tiffs and redactions are done directly in the platform without any sort of export into another application. Our company has always been committed to using the best available software for the job. With Viewpoint, we can spend less time on moving between applications and more time on effectively utilizing the impressive feature set.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Viewpoint has very strong analytical features. Although these feature sets are sometimes referenced as ECA tools, they can really be utilized at any part of the review process. These features include conceptual analysis, e-mail threading, e-mail analytics, search term analytics and near duplicate grouping. When these features are utilized effectively, they can be leveraged to not only generate but also validate and refine search terms. With Viewpoint we have a repeatable and defensible process for crafting and utilizing terms. Using this process we’ve been able to dramatically reduce the reviewable data corpus while doubling the data’s relevancy. After we’ve culled down the amount of data to be reviewed, we continue to use the advance feature sets to effectively group very similar documents together for a quick and consistent review.
STRENGTHS: Viewpoint is strong in a number of areas. Scalability, for instance, is one of the most important aspects of a review platform. Viewpoint processes data on distributed worker based architecture. This format allows us to quickly increase our processing capacity and dedicate resources effectively. The processing system is also on distinct SQL environments. One system is dedicated to processing and the other is dedicated to review. These systems “talk” with each other, but are not affected by intense processing happening on either server. This allows us to really hammer our processing system without negatively affecting any of our document reviewers’ work. From an end-user perspective, the interface flexibility and ease of use is incredible. Users can span their layout across multiple monitors and carefully adjust the location, size and details of any window to meet their individualized needs All of these features add up to a very reliable and customizable solution that we’ve implemented very successfully.
WEAKNESSES: Within Viewpoint it is very easy to take a relevant corpus of data and split the data into smaller batches to be assigned for reviewers. However, when splitting up batches, the algorithm used to determine where the split occurs is based on the number of families instead of the number of files. As a result, the number of files within reviewer batches fluctuates to a greater degree than we have seen in other applications.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Our primary reason for partnering with Lateral Data was to acquire a tool that was able to take any matter from start to finish in a streamlined matter. Viewpoint met that criteria and also provided some excellent analytical information for our end users.
DELIVERABLES: Viewpoint has full production capabilities of both native and tiff formats. We are able to fully customize metadata, Bates/confidentiality stamping and output structure to meet our clients’ requirements. The tool also provides standard reporting of reviewer productivity, coding history, search term hits and exception handling, along with many others. We can also provide custom outputs.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Lateral Data has really differentiated themselves from their competitors with their willingness to listen and respond to our feedback. Software vendors are often slow or unable to respond to change requests. Not so with Lateral Data, – they exceed expectations consistently. When an important change is needed immediately, we have received fixes within hours or days, not weeks or months.
DOCUMENTATION: End users will find the documentation to be sufficient for most day-to-day activities. The more complex features (such as near deduplication) should be learned from training staff, because the technology is powerful and important to understand in-depth to be used effectively.
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