Editor’s Note: Originally published in June 2019 and updated annually, this report on eDiscovery collection task, spending, and cost information contains new data points based on recent refreshes of industry research from ComplexDiscovery. This update includes information from the 2022-2027 eDiscovery Market Size Mashup for Worldwide Software and Services and the most recent eDiscovery pricing survey conducted in December 2022. This update may be beneficial for legal, business, and IT professionals considering the business of eDiscovery and specifically the economics of eDiscovery collection. To submit recommendations for consideration in ComplexDiscovery research, contact us today.
A 2022 Look at eDiscovery Collection: The Task #
Market Size and Pricing Considerations #
Within the context of data discovery and legal discovery, the task of collection consists of locating potential sources of electronically stored information (ESI) and gathering ESI for further use in the eDiscovery process. It is one of three tasks, that along with processing and review, make up the core tasks typically associated with the process of eDiscovery.
In considering the relative costs of the three core eDiscovery tasks of collection, processing, and review, in 2012, the task of collection represented approximately 8% of the total expenditure for eDiscovery tasks, with processing representing 19% of expenditures and review representing 73% of expenditures. (1) Based on market modeling since 2012, the relative cost of the eDiscovery task of collection in 2022 as published in December 2022 increased and was estimated to be 15% of expenditures. Additionally, in 2022, the core eDiscovery task of processing was estimated to represent 19% of expenditures, and the core eDiscovery task of review was estimated to represent 66% of expenditures. (2)
Chart 1: Relative Task Expenditures for eDiscoveryRelative Task Expenditures for Core eDiscovery Tasks - Collection - 2023
Market Opportunity for Collection: The Spend #
In evaluating the market spend for the eDiscovery task of collection through the lens of relative task expenditures and modeled market estimations, spending on collection-related software and services was estimated to constitute approximately 15% ($2.11B) of worldwide eDiscovery software and services spending in 2022. The percentage of spending for the eDiscovery task of collection is estimated to increase to approximately 19% of overall eDiscovery spending by 2027, with that spend estimated to reach $4.24B in 2027. (3)
Chart 2: eDiscovery Market for CollectioneDiscovery Market for Collection (2022-2027) - 2023
Collection Pricing Data Points: The Cost #
While many individual elements contribute to the cost of collection, results from semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Surveys (4) may provide insight into key costs and cost trends related to the eDiscovery task of collection. These costs include the per hour cost for an onsite and remote collection, the per device cost for a collection of desktop or laptop computers and mobile devices, and the per hour cost for analysis and expert witness services with support from a forensic examiner.
Responses from the most recent semi-annual eDiscovery pricing survey regarding six collection-related cost questions, stratified by location, device type, and expertise, posed to cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals are provided below for your consideration.
Chart 3: What is the per hour cost for an onsite collection by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Hour Cost for an Onsite Collection by a Forensic Examiner - Winter 2023
Chart 4: What is the per hour cost for a remote collection by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Hour Cost for a Remote Collection by a Forensic Examiner - Winter 2023
Chart 5: What is the per device cost for a desktop or laptop computer collection by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Device Cost for a Desktop and Laptop Computer Collection by a Forensic Examiner - Winter 2023
Chart 6: What is the per device cost for a mobile device collection by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Device Cost for a Mobile Device Collection by a Forensic Examiner - Winter 2023
Chart 7: What is the per hour cost for investigation, analysis, and report generation by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Hour Cost for Investigation Analysis and Report Generation by an FE - Winter 2023
Chart 8: What is the per hour cost for expert witness testimony (in-person and written) by a forensic examiner?Collection Pricing - Per Hour Cost for Expert Witness Testimony (In-Person and Written) by an FE - Winter 2023
(1) Pace, N., & Zakaras, L. (2012). Where the Money Goes: Understanding Litigant Expenditures for Producing Electronic Discovery (p. xiv, xv). RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
(2) Robinson, R. (2022). An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: Worldwide Software and Services Overview – 2021-2026. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/an-ediscovery-market-size-mashup-2022-2027-worldwide-software-and-services-overview-2/
(4) Robinson, R. (2022). Adaptation and Stratification? Winter 2023 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/adaptation-and-stratification-winter-2023-ediscovery-pricing-survey-results/.