The Coming Battle Between Big Data and E-Discovery

I was honored to provide a feature editorial for the October 2012 issue of Legal Technology News. The article will be in this month’s print magazine, and you can also read it online. Big Data is a multi-billion dollar train steaming down the tracks which threatens to disrupt some of the most basic information management principles: should we keep everything, or should we throw some of it away? Should we know the business purpose of a piece of information before we decide to keep it? Is information just an asset, or does it also create risk? Big Data is profoundly changing the way organizations answer these and other questions.

Here is an excerpt from the article, which you can read here:

Companies have spent decades paralyzed by a near inability to adapt modernist paper records management programs to decidedly postmodern information systems. Today, no part of the organization (including IT) exerts centralized command and control over data, and we have yet to find an easy replacement for the file clerk. Enter Big Data, where uncontrollable information growth is no longer viewed as evil, or even a necessary evil. In the Big Data world, system administrators now treat bursting databases and file shares not as a shameful secret shared sotto voce in committee meetings, but as something to brag about. In Big Data, information has no downside. It is exalted in Davos, where the World Economic Forum recently “declared data a new class of economic asset, like currency or gold.” It’s been profiled by The New York Times. Proponents call it “the new oil,” proclaiming it presents the biggest opportunies since the dawn of the Internet.

Author: Barclay T. Blair


  1. Laura Zubulake

    I recognized the value of information. Wall Street is about quickly analyzing and responding to information. That is why I pursued the search for electronic evidence.

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