Content Assessment: Trusting the Process? 2021 eDiscovery Processing Task, Spend, and Cost Data
Information - 90%
Insight - 88%
Relevance - 94%
Objectivity - 90%
Authority - 92%
A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the post highlighting ComplexDiscovery research on the eDiscovery task of processing electronically stored information.
Editor’s Note: Originally published in June of 2019, this update on eDiscovery processing 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 processing. To submit recommendations for consideration in ComplexDiscovery research, contact us today.
A 2021 Look at eDiscovery Processing: The Task
Within the context of data discovery and legal discovery, the task of processing consists of reducing the volume of collected electronically stored information (ESI) primarily through automated processing techniques and modifying it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for other eDiscovery tasks including review and analysis. It is one of three tasks, that along with collection 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, processing represented approximately 19% of the total expenditure for eDiscovery tasks, with collection representing 8% of expenditures and review representing 73% of expenditures. (1) Based on market modeling since 2012, the current relative cost of the eDiscovery task of processing remains the same and is estimated to be 19% of expenditures in 2021. In 2021, the core eDiscovery task of collection is also currently estimated to represent 19% of expenditures, and the core eDiscovery task of review is estimated to represent 67% of expenditures. (2)
Chart 1: Relative Task Expenditures for eDiscovery1 - Relative Task Expenditures for Core eDiscovery Tasks - 2021
Market Opportunity for Processing: The Spend
In evaluating the market spend for the eDiscovery task of processing through the lens of relative task expenditures and modeled market estimations, spending on processing-related software and services is estimated to constitute approximately 19% ($2.49B) of worldwide eDiscovery software and services spending in 2021. While the percentage of spending for the eDiscovery task of review is estimated to remain the same at approximately 19% of overall eDiscovery spending through 2026, the spend in dollars for eDiscovery processing is estimated to grow to $3.59B by 2026. (3)
Chart 2: eDiscovery Market for Processing2 - eDiscovery Market for Processing (2021-2026) - 2021
Processing Pricing Data Points: The Cost
While many individual elements contribute to the cost of processing, results from the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey (4) may provide insight into six key costs and cost trends related to the eDiscovery task of processing. These costs include the per GB cost to process ESI based on volume at ingestion, the per GB cost to process ESI based on volume at completion of processing, the per GB per month cost to host ESI without analytics, the per GB per month cost to host ESI with analytics, the user license fee per month for access to hosted data, and the per hour cost of project management support for eDiscovery.
Responses from seven semi-annual eDiscovery pricing surveys regarding these six processing-related cost questions posed to data and legal discovery professionals are provided below for your consideration.
Chart 3: What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at ingestion?3 - Processing Pricing - Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Ingestion - Aggregate
Chart 4: What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at completion of processing?4 - Processing Pricing - Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Completion of Processing - Aggregate
Chart 5: What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information without analytics?5 - Processing Pricing - Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI without Analytics - Aggregate
Chart 6: What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information with analytics?6 - Processing Pricing - Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI with Analytics - Aggregate
Chart 7: What is the user license fee per month for access to hosted data?7 - Processing Pricing - User License Fee Per Month for Access to Hosted Data - Aggregate
Chart 8: What is the per hour cost of project management support for eDiscovery?8 - Processing Pricing - Per Hour Cost of Project Management Support for eDiscovery - 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/.
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