An e-discovery analyst is responsible for documenting and storing electronic data for use in legal procedures. The role is crucial in a lawsuit or an investigation. Most of an e-discovery analyst’s tasks include data management for emails, documents, databases, presentations, audio and video files, voicemails, social media posts, and websites.
An e-discovery analyst deals with complex processes because the data he/she deals with can be dynamic and contain additional metadata, including file properties, sender and recipient information, and even time-date stamps. Plus, he/she also has to ensure the original content of the data is preserved.
Read More about an “E-Discovery Analyst”
As we continuously shift to digital documentation, the need for e-discovery analysts is greater than ever and can only increase in the future. The e-discovery industry is, in fact, expected to top US$17 billion by 2023. If you want to become successful in this field, here are some of the things you should know and develop.
What Does an E-Discovery Analyst Do?
An e-discovery analyst is responsible for:
- Analyzing and managing electronically stored information (ESI)
- Developing ESI preservation procedures
- Ensuring regulatory compliance on federal rulings concerning the handling of ESI
- Providing clients with relevant educational pieces to strengthen e-discovery operations
- Drafting litigation procedures
- Using software to begin the discovery process
- Aiding clients in collecting, processing, reviewing, and producing ESI
- Acting as a liaison between records management personnel and legal teams
What Does the Career Path of an E-Discovery Analyst Look Like?
An e-discovery analyst may take on different roles and responsibilities, depending on their clients or employers. Take a look at an e-discovery analyst’s potential career path below.
1. Start as a Document Coder
A document coder encodes data and imports them into organized databases. Most e-discovery analysts begin their careers as document coders.
2. Work toward Becoming an E-Discovery Specialist
Once you have honed your expertise, you can expand your role to include ESI analysis. You would be responsible for determining the relevance of the data and share your insights with stakeholders. You may also be required to carry out technical troubleshooting of software.
3. Become an E-Discovery Manager
An e-discovery manager oversees a team of document coders and specialists and liaises with vendors and other firms. He/She also sets up schedules for discovery processes and handles staffing concerns.
4. Transition to an E-Discovery Director
An e-discovery director oversees the overall operations of e-discovery teams. He/She also manages finances, leads strategic planning sessions, and furthers business development efforts.
What Skills Are Required to Become an E-Discovery Analyst?
While an e-discovery analyst works closely with those in the legal profession, he/she is not required to go to law school. But some e-discovery analysts are paralegals. Due to rising salaries, even some lawyers are leaning toward furthering their careers in the field. Several e-discovery analysts also have an information technology (IT) background or pursued advanced technology-related degrees.
Certifications are not mandatory, but they are critical to improve job prospects and pay. Among the most challenging ones you can complete is the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), but it is also the most highly respected by legal employers.
An e-discovery analyst must be well-versed in various documentation formats such as Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or portable document format (PDF) to redact privileged and irrelevant information. Knowledge of using computer-assisted review and predictive coding is also ideal. He/She must also pay attention to details to ensure the data is accurate and free from tampering.
How Much Does an E-Discovery Analyst Earn on Average?
A U.S.-based e-discovery analyst can earn an average of US$73,880 annually. The rate can vary, however, depending on one’s location, years of experience, and expertise.
E-discovery analysts are likely to become more in-demand because of the growing need for legal departments to lower operational costs while increasing productivity.