One of the keys to managing the cost of ediscovery—and litigation more broadly—is effective early case assessment (ECA). When you can quickly and accurately predict the future of a case, you’re more likely to, as Kenny Rogers would say, know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.
Often, data within the collaboration platform Slack offers a fast way to gain insight into a potential case. But Slack data poses several challenges, especially during ECA. That was the topic of a webinar Hanzo presented recently, “Get the Most Out of Your Slack Early Case Assessment.” Here’s what we talked about.
Why Slack Data Is Useful for Early Case Assessment
The goal of ECA is to quickly and inexpensively assess the risk that a potential matter poses.ECA lets you efficiently gauge what is at stake in terms of the time, money, or reputational damage it could cost to defend or prosecute an issue. Legal teams need to identify the key players rapidly in a dispute, the data sources they’ve used, and the timeframes that are relevant to the underlying facts. Next, they need to survey those data sources to gain a sense of the veracity of any claims or defenses. Once they’ve identified and analyzed potentially relevant information, they must preserve information if litigation ensues. Finally, they need to turn their insights into action, whether that’s settling a matter, rebutting an assertion, or digging in for a fight.
Collaboration platforms such as Slack have already changed the way businesses communicate and share information. Because Slack messages have replaced so many internal conversations that used to occur over email, they’re a logical place to start with investigations and ECA. But just because Slack data is helpful in ECA doesn’t mean it’s easy to get to—at least not with conventional approaches.
The Challenges of Using Slack Data in Early Case Assessment
The first challenge around Slack data is its volume. Users send more than 1.5 billion Slack messages per month, many of which are so short as to be meaningless without the context of their surrounding messages. And that content isn’t static, like an email—users can add new threads or expand threads at any time and, if their settings allow it, even edit and delete messages. Slack data is complex, too, with emojis, GIFs, file attachments, and hundreds of integrations uploading data to the platform.
Unfortunately, Slack’s internal search engine is less robust than traditional ediscovery tools when identifying relevant messages. That makes it hard to locate all of the messages associated with a custodian, pinpoint relevant conversations, or discern the context of messages that contain keywords. Finally, Slack exports data in an unwieldy, frankly unfriendly JSON format that your team can’t readily load into ediscovery review platforms.
At Hanzo, we’ve seen challenges like this before—and that’s why we designed a solution.
Overcoming the Challenges With Hanzo Hold for Slack
Hanzo Hold for Slack enables rapid, cost-effective, insightful early case assessment by improving every step of the process.
First, Hanzo Hold for Slack automatically maps all of the channels and direct messages that a custodian has participated in, making it easy to identify potentially relevant messages. It then captures and indexes all content—including text, metadata, and attachment content—to simplify matter scoping with a powerful Boolean keyword search engine coupled with metadata field restrictions such as custodian, date, and channel. Hanzo Hold for Slack readily displays the results in context, so you can quickly discern the broader topics and communication patterns at play. It also shows any edited messages—in both their original and edited forms—and deleted messages, so you won’t miss anything. And if the matter proceeds to litigation, it’s a snap to export content, including messages before and after your search results, so you have the full text of a conversation in your document review platform.
In short, Hanzo Hold for Slack makes it easy to see when and where conversations took place and who participated in those discussions, enabling users to learn about a matter organically and modify their search as the scope evolves. That translates to fast and efficient ECA, which means you don’t have to gamble on a potential matter—you can know in short order whether it’s worth the risk.
To learn more or see your own customized demonstration, please contact us—and in case you missed it, the webinar is available on demand at Get the Most Out of Your Slack Early Case Assessment.