Most evenings the past week and a half my wife and I have managed to catch some of the Olympic competition currently taking place in Sochi, Russia. Something we tune into with some interest every few years. The Olympics really are a great concept, men and women athletes of diverse background and culture converging together for a few weeks of competition and sport, putting aside differences, history, and politics (for the most part) to compete and prove who is the best at various disciplines.
The competition has inspired me (no not to compete, that would be too cliche) to wonder, what if we could have an Olympics of eDiscovery? In a geeky eDiscovery way, wouldn't that be great? I image a competition amongst the various software and tool providers to determine who is best at different tasks: collection, processing, culling, review, TAR, and production to name a few. This would not be a Gartner style report (which I do find helpful and a must read by the way) but instead, the tools would go head to head at the same time and place using the same data set and hardware horsepower. Everything would be transparent and there would be a level playing field – no marketing or PR spun statistics, and no closed door exercise where only the “results” are presented.
Medals would be given in each category for different aspects such as speed, accuracy, efficiency, cost, and ease of use for example. The end result would be bragging rights for the software producers and real useful knowledge and results for consumers like you and me who would finally have some objective data points to make apples to apples comparisons to the extent that is possible in this industry, and also hopefully a little fun as well.
I invite all software vendors big and small to consider this idea and throw your hat in the ring. If you agree to participate, we, the users, will come. So kCura, Symantec, Ipro, Kroll, Lexis, FTI, and any others, are you up for it? I for one would love to see this, and think it would be of great interest to the eDiscovery community.