Electronic discovery is the process of locating and retrieving electronic data. These days, every company is storing its important information in the electronic format, in devices like CD ROMs, DVDs, hard disks, floppy disks, and others. Data is also being sent across the world in electronic formats via e-mail or Internet because of the speed and cost-effectiveness. However, this may cause some of the data to be lost or altered. Electronic discovery enables the retrieval of such electronic data from the vast amounts of data available. Another important application of electronic discovery is in litigation or lawsuits. Electronic discovery can even bring out electronic evidence that has been tampered with.
There are many companies today that are offering electronic discovery services. The electronic document discovery market was worth $1.3 billion in 2004. Electronic discovery involves the use of certain software tools and technologies for data recovery. These tools make data discovery not only extremely fast, but also efficient and cheap. These companies offer comprehensive packages of all kinds of data management and discovery tools. These include e-mail analytical tools, search and filtering tools, review and redaction tools, task assignment and case management capabilities, and concept folders for easy tagging and storage of documents. These make data gathering, media restoration, data processing, document production and reporting more efficient. Some specific electronic discovery services include evidence collection and processing services.
Most electronic discovery services are specially designed for attorneys and law firms, since they are the most common potential users of this technology. Some companies have data discovery capacities of over 5 million pages per day. Most of the services are custom designed as per the requirements of the client. Some of the top providers of electronic discovery services are: Biscayne Professional Associates, Bowne Litigation Solutions, Cricket Technologies, Emag Solutions, Daticon, Electronic Evidence Discovery Inc., Kroll Ontrack Inc., Renew Data Corp, Universal Document Solutions, ZANTAZ Inc, Applied Discovery Inc., Fios Inc., Ibis Consulting, KPMG and SPI Litigation Direct.