Content Assessment: The Year in Review? 2021 eDiscovery Review Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points
Information - 95%
Insight - 91%
Relevance - 95%
Objectivity - 90%
Authority - 96%
A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the post highlighting ComplexDiscovery research on the eDiscovery task of reviewing electronically stored information.
Editor’s Note: Originally published in June of 2019, this update on eDiscovery review task, spend and cost information contains new data points based on recent refreshes of industry research from ComplexDiscovery. This update includes information from the 2021-2026 eDiscovery Market Size Mashup for Worldwide Software and Services and from the recent aggregation of seven semi-annual eDiscovery pricing surveys. This update may be beneficial for legal, business, and IT professionals considering the business of eDiscovery and specifically the economics of eDiscovery review. To submit recommendations for consideration in ComplexDiscovery research, contact us today.
A 2021 Look at eDiscovery Review: The Task
Within the context of data discovery and legal discovery, the task of review consists of the evaluation of digital information to identify relevant and responsive documents to produce, and privileged documents or confidential or sensitive information to withhold. It is one of three tasks, that along with collection and processing, 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, review represented approximately 73% of the total expenditure for eDiscovery tasks, with collection representing 8% of expenditures and processing representing 19% of expenditures. (1) Based on market modeling since 2012, the current relative costs of these core eDiscovery tasks in 2021 are estimated to be 67% of expenditures for review, with collection representing 14% of expenditures, and processing representing 19% of expenditures. (2)
Chart 1: Relative Task Expenditures for eDiscovery1 - Relative Task Expenditures for Core eDiscovery Tasks - 2021
Market Opportunity for Review: The Spend
In evaluating the market spend for the eDiscovery task of review through the lens of relative task expenditures and modeled market estimations, spending on review-related software and services is estimated to constitute approximately 67% ($8.78B) of worldwide eDiscovery software and services spending in 2021. While the percentage of spending for the eDiscovery task of review is estimated to decrease slightly to approximately 62% of overall eDiscovery spending through 2026, the spend in dollars for eDiscovery review is estimated to grow to $11.71B by 2026. (3)
Chart 2: eDiscovery Market for Review2 - eDiscovery Market for Review (2021-2026) - 2021
Review Pricing Data Points: The Cost
While many individual elements contribute to the cost of review, results from the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey (4) may provide insight into three key costs and cost trends related to the eDiscovery task of review. These costs include the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery, the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery, and the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery.
Responses from seven semi-annual eDiscovery pricing surveys regarding these three review-related cost questions posed to cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals are provided below for your consideration.
Chart 3: What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery?10 - Review Pricing - Per GB Cost to Conduct Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review - Aggregate
Chart 4: What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?11 - Review Pricing - Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents - Aggregate
Chart 5: What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?12 - Review Pricing - Per Document - Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents - Aggregate
(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. (2021). An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: Worldwide Software and Services Overview – 2021-2026. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/ediscovery-market-size-mashup-2021-2026-worldwide-software-and-services-overview-2021-2026/.
(4) Robinson, R. (2021). Common Cents? An Aggregate Overview of Seven Semi-Annual eDiscovery Pricing Surveys. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/common-cents-an-aggregate-overview-of-seven-semi-annual-ediscovery-pricing-surveys/.
- A Running List: Top 100+ eDiscovery Providers
- Defining Cyber Discovery? A Definition and Framework
- Moving Forward? A Running Listing of eDiscovery Events in 2022
Have a Request?
If you have information or offering requests that you would like to ask us about, please let us know and we will make our response to you a priority.
ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights cyber, data, and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding cyber, data, and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.
ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of cyber, data, and legal discovery organizations. Focused primarily on supporting the ComplexDiscovery publication, the company is registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. The company operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.