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Is having more data always better? Whether you think of managing information from a risk mitigation or business value perspective, the information explosion happening around us demands that we find more effective ways of dealing with our data. Information governance offers the opportunity to gain control over our data and extract value from it. But, to succeed, we need to think differently about information. These and other ideas are explored by Barclay T. Blair (IGI Founder and Executive Director) and Bennett B. Borden (IGI Founder and Chair) during two thought-provoking discussions at the Journal of Law and Technology (JOLT) Symposium, “Information Governance: A Comprehensive Approach to e-Discovery” (February 28, 2014).

In his talk, The State of IG: Who is Doing it, Paying for it, and Recent Trends, Barclay argues that “[w]e need to change the way we think about information,” looking for the patterns that emerge rather than focusing alone on the individual data points or documents, to create meaning. “The value is not in the papyrus; it’s in the pattern. It’s not about the codex; it’s about the corpus,” says Barclay. By looking for patterns in the data, we can extract meaning from data produced incidentally to regular business processes. In this way, IG can act as an “enabler” of new business models. To watch the full talk, click here.

Bennett argues that through the effective use of machine learning and other technologies to review data, the legal community may be able to “sell certainty” to clients about the facts of their case. In his talk, Finding the Signal in the Noise: Information Governance, Analytics, and The Future of Legal Practice, Bennett describes ways in which technology can be used to quickly reconstruct what happened in litigation and other investigations and to even predict future bad acts by searching for patterns linked to such behavior. All of us leave digital tracks which careful investigation can uncover. “In this day and age, we can create certainty, and that is because of the amount of information we have available to us. You simply cannot go throughout your day without leaving a digital trail, even if you wanted to,” say Bennett. To watch the full talk, click here.



Barclay T. Blair (IGI Founder and Executive Director) will discuss the importance of information governance for corporations in Information Governance: Why Corporations Need It, the first webinar in a two part series on Information Governance by ZyLAB, an IGI Charter Supporter.

Webinar description:

We live in the information age. Data is being produced at an incredible rate. Yet our current information practices are completely unsustainable. We need to change the way we think about information. If we don't, the consequences will be dire.

Today most corporations neither accurately assess the risk posed by the data they are accumulating nor do they extract the real value from that data--feeling all of the burden and little of the benefit from their information.

But there is a way forward.

Our technological capacity to address our "information problem" has far outstripped the common understanding of how to apply that technology. On May 8, 2014 from 2:00 PM ET to 3:00 PM ET, Barclay Blair, Founder and Executive Director of the Information Governance Initiative will share with Mary Mack, Enterprise Technology Counsel for ZyLAB how to build a way forward leveraging this technology. Barclay will also share with guests the ways to build synergies amongst the various stakeholders in the IG world.

To register, click here.



The Information Governance Initiative has prepared and submitted a public comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) draft automated Electronic Records Management (ERM) report and plan. Under the Section A3.1 of the Managing Government Records Directive which requires federal agencies to “manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format,” NARA is to develop a plan outlining suitable options for automating ERM to reduce the burden associated with it. NARA requested comments on its draft report and plan. Click here for more details.

Given the importance of NARA’s efforts to preserve our nation’s historical record and provide access to that record, as well as IGI’s commitment to public advocacy for information governance, we decided to provide comments.

We believe NARA has taken a significant step forward in fulfilling Goal A3.1 through issuance of the Draft Plan dated March 10, 2014. First, NARA has recognized that the "processes and tools that agencies currently use to manage electronic records are not adequate to support consistent compliance with the Federal Records Act." Second, NARA has further recognized that "most agencies are relying on individual staff members to capture and categorize their electronic records, if they are managing electronic records at all. The document goes on to note that "[e]nd users find it burdensome to manage their electronic records if that means touching each file and making a separate recordkeeping decision about each one." Third, NARA recognizes that the availability of records management application software on the market "has not led to universal use of these tools in agencies even for types of records that RMAs can manage; the problem of achieving consistent management of all agency electronic records remains unsolved in spite of this technology." Fourth, NARA has identified the fact that "[p ]romising tools for automation already exist," and that "[t]he advanced search space, including machine learning or predictive coding as used in eDiscovery, is one of several promising areas for records management exploration."

Each of the four points listed above represent an enlightened view of the challenges and opportunities present at the current time to optimal recordkeeping in the public sector space, and in our view, the Draft Plan therefore represents a signal achievement, indicating that much progress has been made in terms of the public policy discussion since issuance of the President's 2011 Memorandum and the 2012 Directive itself.

- Excerpt from the Information Governance Initiative’s Comment on NARA’s Draft Automated ERM Report and Plan

The IGI also commented on the Draft Plan’s failure to adequately take into account the budgetary timelines faced by agencies facing deadlines for implementation, and urged NARA to revisit its timeline and accelerate it due to the urgent need for agencies to act. The IGI also advocated for more transparency in the commenting process to foster open dialogue about the various proposals. In addition, IGI recommended that more emphasis be placed on requesting views from the private sector, so that the government can benefit from private industry’s experience to more effectively tackle issues at the intersection of technology and public policy.

For a complete listing of IGI’s remarks, click here to view IGI’s comment drafted by Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair).



Barclay T. Blair (IGI Founder & Executive Director), Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair), and Jay Brudz (IGI General Counsel) will participate in The National Conference on Managing Electronic Records in Chicago from May 19-21, 2014.

Presented by Cohasset Associates, Inc., MER is a national conference focused on offering leading-edge and practical, real-life guidance on addressing the challenges presented by managing electronic records. Click here for conference details. Several IGI Charter Supporters are exhibitors at the event. Click here for a list of exhibitors. Consistently ranked as having excellent content by attendees, the MER Conference is in its 22nd year. Click here for information on registration.

The following is a list of the sessions in which the IGI team will be participating.

Session 2: CASE STUDY: Information Governance and Remediation: Case Studies from the Field (May 19th from 10:30-11:30)

Jason R. Baron and Jay Brudz will discuss the utilization of machine-learning and predictive coding technologies for document classification as part of a data remediation strategy. They will offer a framework for establishing a remediation plan as well as several real-world success stories. Click here for session abstract.

Session 12: The Real Deal: Inside an Information Governance Council Meeting - from Four Perspectives: RIM, Legal, IT, Privacy, and Business (May 20th from 8:30-9:30)

Barclay T. Blair will join Karen Knight (Cohasset Associates, Inc.), Jeremy Lewis (Federal Reserve Bank Chicago), Sue Trombley (Iron Mountain), and Kurt Wilhelm (NBC Universal, Inc.), and Elly Bracamontes (NACCO Materials Handling Group) to provide an inside look at the operation of a corporation’s IG Council as it tackles key issues including the implementation of a legacy data cleanup program. Click here for session abstract.

Session 23: Is Information The Problem or the Solution? A Discussion with Kon Leong Hosted by Barclay T. Blair (May 20th from 3:30-4:30)

Barclay T. Blair will speak one-on-one with Kon Leong (ZL Technologies) about the future of information. The two IG “futurists” will discuss topics including: whether large volumes of information are a benefit or burden, whether centralized or in place approaches will be the information management solution of the future, and a technological convergence that may offer solutions for IG problems. Click here for session abstract.

Session 25: 20/20 Vision on Information Governance 2020 (May 21st from 8:30-10:00)

Barclay T. Blair and Jay Brudz will join Eric Hibbard (Hitachi Data Systems), Steven Teppler (The Abbott Law Group), Carol Stainbrook (Cohasset Associates, Inc.), and Kenneth Withers (The Sedona Conference) as the panel makes predictions about the future of information governance. Survey questions submitted to the panelists prior to the session will also be presented. Click here for session abstract.



The Information Governance Initiative is drafting a public comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) draft automated Electronic Records Management (ERM) report and plan.

By 2019, the Managing Government Records Directive requires federal agencies to “manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format.” Click here to view the directive. As part of that directive, under Section A3.1, NARA is required to “[i]nvestigate and stimulate applied research in automated technologies to reduce the burden of records management responsibilities” and develop a plan outlining suitable options for automating ERM. NARA has prepared a draft report outlining the goals of the project, its activities to date, and options it is considering for ERM. It has also outlined a draft plan for implementation.

NARA has requested comments from experts both within and outside the federal government to evaluate and build out their current plan. The experience of those within the IGI community positions our members to offer precisely the insights and guidance necessary to assist NARA in a successful development and implementation of an automated ERM plan. IGI therefore encourages our members to review NARA’s call for comments and respond directly to NARA. The request for comment and draft report and plan can be found hereComments are due by April 25, 2014.



Bennett B. Borden (IGI Founder & Chair) and Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair) were recently published in the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology. Click here to read the full article: Finding the Signal in the Noise: Information Governance, Analytics, and the Future of Legal Practice, 20 RICH. J.L. & TECH. 7 (2014). Borden presented the paper at a recent symposium entitled “Information Governance: A Comprehensive Approach to e-Discovery,” held at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, on February 28, 2014.

In their article, Borden and Baron make a compelling case for applying predictive coding and other analytical techniques developed in the context e-Discovery to Information Governance issues outside of the litigation context. The article begins by tracing the history of the development of e-Discovery from the days of manual review to keyword searching to the 2012 Da Silva Moore case, the first to give judicial approval to the use of predictive coding. Borden and Baron argue that predictive coding and other analytical tools used to find “the most relevant needles (i.e., facts) in the Big data haystack” in litigation could be used to analyze other matters in which relevant information needs to be mined from mountains of data. They also provide several “true life” examples in which the techniques they advocate were used in practice both in a litigation and non-litigation context (e.g., internal investigations). More than just reducing costs, they argue, advanced analytics can be used to get at the relevant facts, faster. This earlier, more accurate picture of what happened confers a strategic advantage.

More than just reconstructing the facts of a past event, Borden and Baron posit that advanced analytics could be used prospectively—vetting political or senior management candidates, for example. They also discuss the use of such tools to predict and prevent future bad behavior. The authors note, for example, that people who commit fraud are often experiencing negative life events (divorce, financial problems, gambling, etc.), traces of which they leave in the electronic data they produce, which can of course be mined to predict where trouble is likely to arise. The use of analytics in records and information management is also discussed. In short, the applications of predictive coding and other analytical techniques to non-litigation problems are manifold. As those tools continue to improve, their primary limitation may be our ability to think outside the context in which they were developed to imagine where they can be applied.


“We are now in a post-Da Silva Moore, “Big data” era where lawyers are on constructive (if not actual) notice of a world of technology assisted review techniques available at least in the sphere of e-Discovery. The proposition being advanced is that the greater revelation of Da Silva Moore is how similar the techniques being put forward as best practices in e-Discovery fit a larger realm of issues familiar to lawyers, many of which fall within what is increasingly being recognized as “information governance” practice. It is here where we can break new ground in our legal practice by recommending the use of these advanced techniques to solve real-world problems of our clients…”