Structured Data

Issues and Best Practices

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

June 27, 2018

Recent amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure mean issues like spoliation, sanctions, and adverse impacts are focus areas for many attorneys, providers, and clients.

David Turner, a Senior Managing Director in our Data & Analytics practice, discusses the issues that are often overlooked, and describes the technological best practices regarding preservation and proportionality, in particular the challenges associated with client’s structured data.

Why is structured data important?

“Electronically stored information” (ESI) usually refers to unstructured data such as emails, text messaging, electronic document files, and social media messages. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg. Around 70% of a company’s information is maintained in structured forms such as records in a relational database, or in semi-structured hybrid formats such as in Salesforce.

This data is critical to understanding all aspects of an investigation. For example, when discussing whether Trader A intended to manipulate commodity prices, it will be necessary to analyze potentially hundreds of millions of transactions in order to answer questions such as “Did their trades have the effect of manipulating prices, and if so what was the price effect of this manipulation?” If the issue is whether Broker B was trying to front-run customer trades, analysis of structured data could address the question, “Were their trades executed before customer trades?”

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