From Exuberance to Encouragement? eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey – Summer 2016 Results

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The term ‘business’ represents the economic factors that impact the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services.

“The business of eDiscovery is an ever-present and important variable in the equation of legal discovery,” shared Mary Mack, Executive Director of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS). “As financial factors are a primary driver in eDiscovery decisions ranging from sourcing and staffing to development and deployment, ACEDS sees value in regularly checking the business pulse of eDiscovery professionals. The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey provides a tool to help take that pulse on a systematic basis and ACEDS looks forward to sponsoring, participating, and reporting on the results of this salient survey each quarter.”

Mary Mack, Executive Director, ACEDS
In my experience, the successful conduct of eDiscovery is comprised of a balance of in-depth education, practical execution, and experience-based excellence,” highlighted George Socha, Co-Founder of the EDRM and Managing Director of Thought Leadership at BDO. “The eDiscovery Business Confidence survey being highlighted by ACEDS is one of many industry surveys that positively contributes to this balance as it provides a quarterly snapshot into the business of discovery. I highly encourage serious eDiscovery professionals to complete and consider this survey as one of their tools for understanding the business challenges and opportunities in our profession.”
George Socha, Co-Founder of the EDRM and Managing Director of Thought Leadership, BDO

Summer 2016 Survey Results

The Summer 2016 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey was conducted between August 1 and August 31, 2016. The survey was open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Individuals were invited to participate via website announcements, social media posts and direct email invitations from leading industry organizations, associations, and blogs to include but not limited to ACEDS, EDRM, eDiscovery Daily Blog, LTPI, Masters Conference, and Women in eDiscovery.

This survey had 168 respondents. While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate results are published below to highlight the business confidence level of participants in regard to the economic factors impacting the creation, delivery and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the Summer of 2016.


N = 168 Respondents

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

  • Software and/or Services Provider – 32.7% (55)
  • Law Firm – 33.9% (57)
  • Consultancy – 13.7% (23)
  • Corporation – 11.9% (20)
  • Media/Research Organization – 0.6% (1)
  • Other – 4.2% (7)
  • Governmental Entity – 3% (5)

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 – 47.6% (80)
  • Normal – 38.7% (65)
  • Bad – 13.7% (23)

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 – 44.6% (75)
  • Same – 52.4% (88)
  • Worse – 3% (5)

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 – 50% (84)
  • Same – 41.7% (70)
  • Lower – 8.3% (14)

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.

  • Same – 47% (79)
  • Higher – 38.7% (65)
  • Lower – 14.3% (24)

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 – 28% (47)
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 28.6% (48)
  • Data Security – 7.1% (12)
  • Lack of Personnel – 14.3% (24)
  • Increasing Types of Data – 10.1% (17)
  • Inadequate Technology – 11.9% (20)

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

  • North America – 95.2% (160)
  • Europe – 3.6% (6)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 1.2% (2)
  • Central/South America – 0% (0)
  • Middle East/Africa – 0% (0)

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 76.8% (129)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 17.9% (30)
  • IT/Product Development – 5.4% (9)

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

  • Executive Leadership – 34.5% (58)
  • Operational Management 34.5% (58)
  • Tactical Execution – 31% (52)

Graphical Depiction of Results and Original Survey Form

Provided below for your review and use is a graphical depiction of survey answers and a copy of the original survey form.

eDiscovery-Business-Confidence-Survey-Summer-2016


The Fall 2016 Survey

The Fall 2016 Business Confidence Survey will be open on November 1, 2016.

Source: Original Research

  • Summer 2016 Survey (1 August – 31 August 2016)
  • Spring 2016 Survey (1 May – 31 May 2016)
  • Winter 2016 Survey (15 February – 29 February 2016)

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