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Novel Data Types Slowing You Down? There’s a Tool for Grabbing Them Fast

by Petra Pasternak

The exponential growth in volume and types of novel data is driving adoption of cloud connector technologies built to address the challenge of collecting and reviewing these tricky data sets.

Five years ago, Slack and Zoom were practically obscure. Just 8% of U.S. knowledge workers used Slack in 2018 and only 9% used Zoom. Since then, the two online collaboration tools have rocketed to the top of the charts. According to Okta’s 2023 annual report, Slack is now deployed by 36% of its customers and Zoom is used by 48%.

The numbers – driven by the pandemic – create new headaches for in-house legal professionals. Every new video conference recording and Slack message adds to the vast quantities of electronically stored information that can hide crucial evidence for a company investigation or litigation. Much of this data is hard to extract and harder to mine for insights. 

It’s not just Zoom and Slack. Large companies now reportedly use more than 200 apps on average. What legal professionals need are tools that can capture novel data types directly from their cloud sources in a unified platform for easy review. 

To help legal teams scale their work no matter the apps of choice in their organization, Everlaw recently launched connectors for Zendesk, Asana, and Jira to its existing series of cloud connectors that include M365, Google Drive, Box, Zoom, Slack, and more.

Today’s legal professionals have more options for tackling the data deluge. There’s the old way – slow, tedious, and costly – and the new way – fast, efficient, and far less nerve wracking. 

Manually Collecting Data Is Not Enough in the Digital Age

For most, data gathering is an essential in-house discovery responsibility. Nearly 40% of respondents in Everlaw’s 2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report said that collecting and delivering electronically stored information is a leading challenge, particularly when it comes to new and complex file types. 

It’s not hard to imagine why. Not only is there more corporate data than ever, it’s also far harder to access and analyze. The recordings, closed captions, transcripts, and chats from cloud apps don’t come neatly packaged in a single, easy-to-understand document that’s digestible by traditional discovery methods. And because the content sits in many different places, direct access may be restricted to data system owners, like IT admins, adding complexity – not to mention potential delays.

Consider the additional risks of outmoded discovery processes:

Time Wasted Toggling Between Systems. Without a modern ediscovery solution, legal teams must manually download data from one tool and upload it to another. Coordinating with IT personnel to access and ingest data from servers, laptops, and other devices adds to delays and increases security risks. 

Key Facts Gone Missing. Data from collaboration tools is stored in various locations (in the cloud, on local devices, in third-party integrations), making it tough to aggregate. There’s no guarantee that critical evidence won’t be missing from a manual sweep, a significant risk when the right facts can make or break a case or investigation. 

Security Compromised. The more data moves between systems and tools and the more copies are made, especially when a legal team outsources the discovery to a third party, the less safe it is.

Pull Evidence Straight From the Source With Cloud Connectors

The exponential growth in the volume and types of novel data is driving adoption of cloud connector technologies built to address these challenges. A vast majority of corporate respondents (80%) in Everlaw’s Ediscovery Innovation Report named cloud connectors to data sources as the number one capability they were willing to invest in to streamline data collection and handling. 

Cloud connector technology was designed to automate the bulk of collections, lifting the burden of tedious labor so legal teams can quickly get to relevant insights. 

So how do connectors work?

Cloud connectors provide the straightest line from point A to point B. Instead of zigzagging between individual export and import tools to collect, process, cull, and review, cloud connectors allow for extraction of data straight from the source, followed by direct transfer into the review platform. Once there, the data is automatically processed for review. 


For example, data ingested through the Microsoft 365 connector would provide the email thread, calendar event participants, and chat threads all in one place rather than as individual files – with the meaning and context intact to let review teams get straight to analysis. The tool also automatically transcribes audio and video files during ingestion and indexes them for searching. 

Teams leveraging advanced discovery technology see the payoff with cloud connectors through:

Faster Response Time. Teams can get to the key documents for review within hours, not days. With a few simple clicks, data and metadata is made available in context and ready for review.

Enhanced Security. Cloud-to-cloud data collection ensures that data is secure in transit: data is ingested directly from the source and stored in the review platform, never having to leave your organization. 

Cost Containment. By collecting just the most relevant data from enterprise cloud apps, teams avoid the costs of overcollection and accidental production to contain the costs that can so easily balloon at this stage.

A potentially weeks-long effort is dramatically simplified. In-house lawyers and investigations teams, and their colleagues in audit, compliance, and HR, can get down to review and analysis within a day of collection. 

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Adopt Force Multipliers to Reduce the Time to Value 

Ballooning data sizes and ever-evolving data types continue to outstrip the resources legal teams can deploy. 

To get a better handle on the imbalance between the tasks at hand and the means to accomplish them, litigation and investigations teams are changing their approach. Automating data collection through cloud connectors is just one crucial step in the discovery journey. The right technology helps streamline other once cumbersome processes, too, including review and analysis. 

Everlaw Cloud Connectors help capture novel data types directly from their sources, including M365 and Google Drive, or Asana and Jira. Everlaw’s Communication Visualizer enables teams to spot connections in communications patterns and Video Depositions lets users organize video deposition evidence more effectively. Together, these and other advanced discovery tools help teams tackle the full range of challenges posed by litigation and investigations data so they can get to the work that matters most. 

Download this free whitepaper to learn about three tools that help legal teams to make sense of massive amounts of data in “Finding Key Evidence in Big Data.”