Holding the Rudder? Fall 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

This is the twentieth quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery. It is also the third time the survey has been conducted during the current pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter life as we know it. It also continues to alter the business landscape of everyone in the eDiscovery ecosystem. 2,272 individual responses have been received from legal, business, and technology professionals across the eDiscovery ecosystem since the inception of the survey. 83 respondents shared their opinions as part of the most recent survey.

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Content Assessment: Fall 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

Information - 95%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 100%
Objectivity - 100%
Authority - 95%

97%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post highlighting results from the Fall 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey.

Editor’s Note: The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey that shares insight into the business confidence of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core questions 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 customer revenue distribution. Administered for the twentieth time in the fall of 2020, the survey has been conducted three times during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Fall 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

The fall 2020 survey response period was initiated on September 21, 2020, and continued until October 1, 2020. This quarter’s survey experienced a solid response rate with 83 eDiscovery professionals sharing their opinions on the business of eDiscovery.

While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate and unfiltered results are published to highlight the business confidence of participants regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the fall of 2020. These results may be useful to legal, information technology, and business professionals seeking to better understand current and potential future business conditions as shared by survey participants.


Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 83 Respondents

1. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?
Part of the eDiscovery ecosystem where your organization resides

  • Law Firm – 37.3% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Software or Services Provider – 25.3% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Consultancy – 14.5%  (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Corporation – 12.0% (Same as Summer 2020)
  • Other – 6.0% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Governmental Entity – 3.6% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Media/Research Organization – 1.2% (Up from Summer 2020)
1-Survey-Respondents-by-Organizational-Segment-Fall-2020

2. How would you rate the current general business conditions for eDiscovery in your segment?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations

  • Good – 38.6% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Normal – 38.6% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Bad – 22.9% (Down from Summer 2020)
2-Current-Business-Climate-Overview-Fall-2020

3. How do you think the business conditions will be in your segment six months from now?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations

  • Better – 48.2% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Same – 41.0% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Worse – 10.8% (Up from Summer 2020)
3-Business-Climate-Overview+Six-Months-Fall-2020

4. How would you guess revenue in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Revenue is income generated from eDiscovery-related business activities

  • Higher – 42.2% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Same – 44.6% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Lower – 13.3% (Up from Summer 2020)
4-Revenue-Overview+Six-Months-Fall-2020

5. How would you guess profits in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Profit is the amount of income remaining after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional revenue streams, and operating costs

  • Higher – 36.1% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Same – 47.0% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Lower – 16.9% (Down from Summer 2020)
5-Profits-Overview+Six-Months-Fall-2020

6. Of the six items presented below, what is the issue that you feel will most impact the business of eDiscovery over the next six months?
Challenges that may directly impact the business performance of your organization

  • Budgetary Constraints – 49.4% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Increasing Types of Data – 18.1% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 12.0% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Lack of Personnel – 8.4% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Data Security – 7.2% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Inadequate Technology – 4.8% (Up from Summer 2020)
6-Issues-Impacting-eDiscovery-Business-Performance-Fall-2020

7. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?
The location from which you are basing your business assessments

  • North America (United States) – 81.9% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • North America (Canada) – 6.0% (Same as Summer 2020)
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 6.0% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Europe (UK) – 2.4% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 2.4% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Middle East/Africa – 1.2% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Central/South America – 0.0% (Down from Summer 2020)
7-Survey-Respondents-by-Geographic-Region-Fall-2020

8. What are best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 77.1% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 16.9% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • IT/Product Development – 6.0% (Up from Summer 2020)
8-Survey-Respondents-by-Primary-Function-Fall-2020

9. What are best describes your level of support in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Operational Management – 25.3% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Tactical Execution – 39.8% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Executive Leadership – 34.9% (Up from Summer 2020)
9-Survey-Respondents-by-Level-of-Support-Fall-2020

Business Metric Trajectory Questions (Optional)

10. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter?
n=73 Respondents

  • Increasing – 21.9% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 26.0% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Decreasing – 12.3% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 39.7% (Up from Summer 2020)
10-eDiscovery-Business-Metric-Trajectory-Days-Sales-Outstanding-Fall-2020

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=74 Respondents

  • Increasing – 23.0% (Down from Summer 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 20.3% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Decreasing – 18.9% (Down From Summer 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 37.8% (Up from Summer 2020)
11-eDiscovery-Business Metric-Trajectory-Monthly-Recurring-Revenue-Fall-2020

12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?
n=74 Respondents

  • Increasing – 23.0% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 27.0% (Same as Summer 2020)
  • Decreasing – 20.3% (Up from Summer 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 29.7% (Down from Summer 2020)
12-eDiscovery-Business-Metric-Trajectory-Distribution-of-Revenue-Across-Customer-Base-Fall-2020

Past Survey Results

Source: ComplexDiscovery

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ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by business, information technology, and legal professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

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