Content Assessment: A Talent Trap? Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance: A Winter 2022 Overview
Information - 96%
Insight - 99%
Relevance - 95%
Objectivity - 96%
Authority - 100%
A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post highlighting issues impacting the business of eDiscovery.
Editor’s Note: The results of the recent Winter 2022 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey present the impact of key issues on the business of eDiscovery. However, for issues and their potential impact on the business of eDiscovery to be fully understood, they should be viewed through the contextual lens of the results of all the surveys that have been administered to eDiscovery professionals since survey inception.
Initiated in January 2016, the survey has been administered twenty-five times with 2,649 individual responses. The latest survey was administered in the winter of 2022 and had 54 respondents.
Lack of Personnel: A Talent Trap That is Impacting eDiscovery Business
The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a nonscientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple-choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases.
Initiated in January 2016, the survey has been administered twenty-five times with 2,649 individual responses. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem, and individuals are invited to participate primarily via direct email invitations.
The latest survey was administered in the winter of 2022 and had 54 respondents in roles that included executive leadership (53.7%), operational management (24.1%), and tactical execution (22.2%). Industry segments represented in the survey included software and service providers (46.3%), law firms (18.5%), consultancies (16.7%), corporations (5.6%), governmental entities (3.7%), media and research professionals (3.7%), and others (5.6%).
One of the questions in the quarterly survey asks participants to select from a listing of six choices the issue they view as potentially having the most impact on their eDiscovery business during the next six months. The issues presented include:
- Budgetary Constraints
- Data Security
- Inadequate Technology
- Increasing Types of Data
- Increasing Volumes of Data
- Lack of Personnel
While not all-inclusive, the listing of issues provides a realistic overview of potential areas that appear to have a direct and ongoing impact on the business of eDiscovery.
Based on the aggregate results of past surveys, the following findings and charted overviews of responses to the question of issues impacting business may be helpful in understanding the collective mindset of many industry experts regarding these issues and their impact on the business of eDiscovery.
Six Key Findings in the Winter of 2022
- In the winter of 2022, 35.2% of respondents viewed lack of personnel as potentially having the greatest business impact on their business in the next six months. This percentage is the highest of all concerns represented in the winter 2022 survey. This percentage is also the highest rating in the area of lack of personnel concerns since the inception of the survey in the winter of 2016. This is also the second time in a row during the twenty-five surveys that the issue of lack of personnel has been the top concern of survey respondents. (Charts 1,2, and 3)
- The percentage of respondents that viewed increasing types of data as a top business concern decreased significantly in the last quarter from 26.0% in the fall of 2021 to 18.5% in the winter of 2022. This is a drop from the highest rating (fall 2021) in the area of types of data concerns since the inception of the survey in the winter of 2016. (Chart 4)
- Increasing volumes of data continued to be a consistent concern for eDiscovery professionals with 18.5% of winter 2022 survey respondents viewing data volume challenges as potentially having a substantial impact on business in the next six months. This was an increase in this area from the 16.4% response rate in the fall 2021 survey. (Chart 5)
- The percentage of respondents that viewed budgetary constraints as a top business issue increased 3.4% from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by 18.5% of survey respondents. This is also the fourth-lowest rate of concern in this area since the inception of the survey. (Chart 6)
- Respondent’s concern for the impact of data security on eDiscovery business performance increased slightly during the last quarter and is now the top concern for 7.4% of those surveyed, up from 6.8% in the fall of 2021. (Chart 7)
- In the winter of 2022, the impact of inadequate technology as the top business issue decreased by 6.3% from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by only 1.9% of survey respondents. This is the lowest rating of any business performance impact concern in the winter 2022 survey. (Chart 8)
Considering Twenty-Five Quarters of Results from 2016 to 2022
From a top issue perspective, the following potential issues and the number of quarterly times they have been considered the top concern by survey respondents is shared to create context as to the continuing concerns of eDiscovery professionals.
- Budgetary Constraints: 14*
- Increasing Volumes of Data: 6*
- Increasing Types of Data: 4
- Data Security: 0
- Lack of Personnel: 2
- Inadequate Technology: 0
* Top concern tie between Budgetary Constraints and Increasing Volumes of Data in the Winter of 2017.
(Charts Can Be Expanded for Detailed Viewing)
Chart 1: An Aggregate Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance1 - Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance - Winter 2022
Chart 2: An Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance in the Winter of 20222 - Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance - Winter 2022
Chart 3: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Lack of Personnel as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business3 - Impact of Lack of Personnel on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 4: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Types of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business4 - Impact of Increasing Types of Data on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 5: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Volumes of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business5 - Impact of Increasing Volumes of Data on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 6: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Budgetary Constraints as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business6 - Impact of Budgetary Constraints on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 7: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Data Security as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business7 - Impact of Data Security on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 8: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Inadequate Technology as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business8 - Impact of Inadequate Technology on eDiscovery Business - Winter 2022
Chart 9: Survey Participant Overview9 - Survey Respondents (Individual and Aggregate Overview) - Winter 2022
Past Survey Results
- Winter 2022 Survey (6 January – 12 January 2022)
- Fall 2021 Survey (5 October – 12 October 2021)
- Summer 2021 Survey (22 June – 6 July 2021)
- Spring 2021 Survey (28 March – 11 April 2021)
- Winter 2021 Survey (3 January – 12 January 2021)
- Fall 2020 Survey (21 September – 1 October 2020)
- Summer 2020 Survey (26 June – 10 July 2020)
- Spring 2020 Survey (2 April – 15 April 2020)
- Winter 2020 Survey (28 December 2019 – 11 January 2020)
- Fall 2019 Survey (29 September – 17 October 2019)
- Summer 2019 Survey (1 July – 17 July 2019)
- Spring 2019 Survey (1 April – 18 April 2019)
- Winter 2019 Survey (27 December 2018 – January 10, 2019)
- Fall 2018 Survey (14 October – 26 October 2018)
- Summer 2018 Survey (4 July – 24 July 2018)
- Spring 2018 Survey (7 April – 20 April 2018)
- Winter 2018 Survey (24 December 17 – 15 January 2018)
- Fall 2017 Survey (5 October – 17 October 2017)
- Summer 2017 Survey (6 July – 31 July 2017)
- Spring 2017 Survey (14 April – 1 May 2017)
- Winter 2017 Survey (20 January – 6 February 2017)
- Fall 2016 Survey (11 October – 1 December 2016)
- Summer 2016 Survey (1 August – 31 August 2016)
- Spring 2016 Survey (1 May – 31 May 2016)
- Winter 2016 Survey (15 February – 29 February 2016)
- An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: 2021-2026 Worldwide Software and Services Overview
- Defining Cyber Discovery? A Definition and Framework
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