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Help Us Benchmark the Information Governance Industry: Participate in Our Third Annual Survey on Information Governance

The IGI has begun the process of developing our 2016-17 Annual Report, building upon the success of the last two years. As part of the research for our Report, we are conducting a survey of information governance (IG) professionals and would like you to participate in the 2016- 2017 IGI Annual Survey.

This survey will take about 15 minutes of your time – 15 minutes of your day that will provide incredible value to the IG community. We know surveys are a lot of work, but we need your input.

As a thank you for completing the survey, we will provide a discount code for a reduced rate for some of our upcoming events.

The results will be published in a comprehensive Annual Report which will include a variety of infographics and other tools we will freely provide to the IG Community under a Creative Commons license. All data you provide through this survey will be reported anonymously. Take a look at the 2015-2016 Annual Report and the infographics. These infographics have become part of many IG practitioners’ internal presentations, and the Annual Report has become the go-to reference guide for many in the industry.

If you took the survey last year, thank you very much! We look forward to your contribution this year - we have added several new questions to respond to the rapidly-evolving IG ecosystem.

Click here to participate in the survey.

Please feel free to share the link with friends and colleagues in IG.

The IGI appreciates your participation in the 2016 - 2017 IGI Annual Survey. Your participation is essential to our efforts to provide research that will help to advance the adoption of information governance. Thank you.

 
INformation Governance Initiative Digital Preservation strategy

Does Your Organization Have a Digital Preservation Strategy?

Learn Why You May Need One in IGI’s Interview with Preservica’s Mike Quinn

Learn Why You May Need One in IGI’s Interview with Preservica’s Mike Quinn

Whether you work in the public or private sector, if your organization is like most, you probably have digital records and information that you need to - or want to - keep for long periods of time. If that information is important enough for you to keep, you will want to be able to access it in the future.

However, hardware and software obsolescence may be putting your digital records and information at risk. Unfortunately, many organizations are not taking sufficient steps to ensure that this information will be findable, useable, or trustworthy into the future.

The IGI is interested in learning how practitioners are addressing these issues. We need your help in answering a quick, 5-minute survey, the results of which you can use to help benchmark your organization. All data you provide through this survey will be reported anonymously. The results will be made available through a report in May 2016.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Recently, the IGI caught up with Mike Quinn, Commercial Director at Preservica, one of our newest Supporters, to find out more about what organizations can do to better protect their valuable digital assets to ensure that it is both preserved and accessible in the future.

About Preservica

We asked Mike to tell us a bit about Preservica and what the company offers. “Preservica is a digital preservation specialist that has been at the forefront of software technology, research, and consulting in this emerging field since the late 1990s. Our active preservation solutions are used by leading businesses, archives, libraries, museums, and government organizations, globally, to safeguard and share valuable digital content, collections, and electronic records for decades to come,” he said. He went on to explain that the software is available in both on-premise or cloud format, is standards-based (OAIS ISO 14721), and is able to be integrated with leading Enterprise Content and Records Management Systems.

Long-Term May Be Shorter Than You Think

You may be wondering whether your organization even has digital assets that are at risk. We asked Mike to explain what constitutes “long-term” in the digital world and why it matters.

“Some portion of your digital records and information is likely to have enduring value to your organization, either for business value, or legal, regulatory, or compliance reasons. Some of it may even be considered of permanent value to your organization. This could include things such as annual reports,policy documents, intellectual property, and even the digitized history of the organization (e.g. videos, photos, emails, audio, and websites),” he said.

Clearly, the latter type of records and information—ones we need or want to keep permanently—are “long-term.” But hardware and software obsolescence may be putting other records and information at risk even if you aren’t keeping it forever.

Mike went on to explain, “Long-term can be thought of as 10 plus years. Many institutions undergo IT system refresh cycles at this frequency, and technology obsolescence can happen surprisingly quickly. Think of floppy disks, for example. Now, think of all of the other types of technology—software and hardware—that your company is no longer using or no longer supports.”

Obsolescence can happen even sooner depending on the technology involved. So, if your organization is keeping digital records and information longer than 10 years, it is time to think about putting in place a process to properly preserve them.

Archiving Versus Preservation: What’s the Difference?

So your organization is saving certain types of information. There are archiving features in some applications, for example. Or you may be saving in a back-up, ECM, EDRM, EIA, or other system. We asked Mike to explain the difference between archiving and preservation.

“Archiving is concerned with storing the ‘bits’ (ones and zeros) of digital records. Many archiving solutions will even include some form of durability, such as robust storage in case the bits get damaged over time. However, as technology refresh cycles accelerate, most of these archiving solutions are missing one critical focal point. You might be able to get all the ‘ones and zeros’ back in the future, but because file formats and software are moving at such an unprecedented pace, you probably won't be able to read the information using the software and devices of the future,” he said.

He went on to explain how preservation is different.

“Digital preservation goes beyond ‘bit level’ durability. For some digital records, it’s important that they are findable, readable, usable, and trustworthy long into the future. Digital preservation is an active process of ensuring that digital records are ‘future-proofed.’ Metadata is used to make sure that it is easily findable; fixity values ensure its authenticity; and active migration to new formats ensures that a digital record can be usable way into the future – even though the originating technology (file format, software,hardware, etc.) may now be obsolete,” Mike explained.

Is Converting to a Common Format Like PDF, TXT, CSV or Analog Option Like Paper or Film Enough?

Some organizations are attempting to address long-term preservation by converting to common file formats like PDF, TXT, or CSV or analog options like paper or film. When we asked Mike about these approaches he said they may be acceptable—at least for now—in some instances. However, he explained these strategies are often problematic, too.

“If you think about high quality digital images or complex, interactive digital content such as spreadsheets, email, and websites, conversion to a common format may not be feasible. Such conversions can lead to degradation of fidelity to the original, or significant loss in terms of functionality. A PDF of a photo isn’t the same quality, for example. A PDF rendering of a spreadsheet isn’t able to be manipulated like the spreadsheet could be. The same applies to conversion to analog options like paper or film. As digital content becomes more complex, multi-media and interactive, converting to a simpler, common format is not always an option. Further, in addition to these concerns, questions of provenance and authenticity remain. How do I know that the conversion process did not lose some important information?”

He also noted that even today’s common file types could be obsolete tomorrow. “Then there’s the issue of the long-term viability of any particular format and version level, itself. Remember, we may be talking about decades for some digital records. Committing to a single, common format that far into the future isa risk in itself. The ‘convert-once and forget it’ approach may not be the best option for vital digital records” Mike adds.

Where Does Long-term Preservation Fit into the Information Governance Lifecycle?

At what point in the information governance lifecycle should decisions about long-term preservation be considered? Mike explained that because of rapid technology refresh times, taking steps to preserve digital information should not be thought of as an “end of life” decision because by then, it may be too late. He argues that digital preservation can be thought of as a “best practice discipline for digital records of enduring value to the institution” and should be part of the process from the beginning.

“If a digital record is created with the knowledge that it is likely to have a long-term (10 years+) or permanent retention policy, the way digital preservation fits into the information governance lifecycle is this: If it’s vital to your institution, don’t just archive it. Make sure you future-proof it with digital preservation,” he explained.

He also noted that the individual parts that make up an entire record need to be taken into account.

“A digital record may originate and reside operationally in an ECM, RM, file share, or other operational system. That entire digital record may be quite complex – for example, an email with attachments. A good information governance policy will require all those components of an entire digital record to out live the life cycle of the IT systems they were created on,” Mike asserts.

Are Organizations Aware of the Challenges of Managing Long-Term Digital Records and Information?

Some industry sectors may be more aware of the issue of digital preservation than others. Education,Mike suggests, is the key to bridging the gap.

“Preservica has worked with the cultural heritage sector for many years. These ‘Memory Institutions’ understand the challenges of managing long-term records. That’s why many National and State Archives have very active digital preservation programs. Many forward-thinking corporations also understand the value of protecting their long-term history, and an increasing number now have digital preservation programs too. However, many organizations think that archiving and storing digital content is good enough, and there is generally a sense that this is not a business problem,” he said.

“Funnily enough, if you ask these people the same questions about digital content of personal value, you’ll usually get an answer along the lines of: ‘Oh yes, I’ve got some family photos, videos, etc. sitting on a disk, USB, or an old computer running MSDOS. I have no idea what’s on there and how I can read it!’ So no, I think there’s still a lot of education to be done to help organizations understand the specific challenges of managing long-term business records,” added Mike.

To help bridge the gap, Preservica has been involved in various education programs, workshops, and webinars in association with organizations such as the Archives and Records Association (ARA), the Information Records Management Society (IRMS), and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA). In addition, Preservica is supporting research with the IGI to better understand the level of awareness of these issues in the information governance community.

The Public Sector Faces Some Unique Challenges

We asked Mike to tell us more about the unique challenges faced by public sector entities in long-term digital preservation. He noted that public sector records usually face the additional challenges of legally mandated retention periods and accessibility rules. “This means that digital records might have a very precise long-term preservation requirement (e.g. 25 years, 100 years, or permanent) and a time at which those records may be opened to researchers and/or the public,” he explained.

The sheer volume of records that some public entities receive is another issue. Public sector archivists receive information from other government entities and are tasked with the preservation of large amounts of information.

“There’s also the challenge that many public sector archives are on the ‘receiving-end’ of records, for which they must take long-term responsibility. So the ability to take content simply, at scale, and in an automated fashion from a variety of ECM, RM, and Email systems is very important. That’s why having an open standards based, integrated and comprehensive digital preservation platform is important to public sector organizations,” he explained.

Research Initiative on the Preservation of Long-Term Digital Records and Information

In conjunction with joining the IGI, Preservica is supporting research into how organizations handle their long-term digital records and information. Please take a few minutes from your day to help us benchmark this important issue by taking our short survey. This one is quick, we promise!

 
In-House Legal Departments Are Using Data Analytics for E-Discovery and Other Investigations

Survey Shows a Majority of In-House Legal Departments Are Using Data Analytics for E-Discovery and Other Investigations

E-discovery software with data analytics capabilities (including functionality like auto-classification, predictive coding, and TAR, for example) have been available for quite some time now. However, the extent to which in-house legal departments are taking advantage of these advances to improve e-discovery and other investigations has not been clear. To explore this issue and other uses of data analytics, the Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (CTRL) commissioned the IGI to conduct a survey on the adoption of data analytics by in-house legal departments across six use cases (e-discovery, legal matter management/billing, information governance, outcome/risk analysis, contract review, and selection of outside counsel. CTRL released the results of that survey, and you can learn more at Data Analytics in the Legal Community: 2015-2016 Trends.

According to the survey results, a majority (56%) of in-house legal departments report using data analytics for e-discovery and other investigations. This was the only one of the six use cases examined for which a majority of respondents said that their legal departments were taking advantage of data analytics, although nearly a third also reported adoption in legal matter management/billing and information governance (IG). We discussed survey results on the IG use case in a previous blog about the study.

Culling and relevancy review were among the top three uses of analytics in e-discovery/other investigations by in-house legal. Interestingly, however, early case assessment (ECA) was also in the top three. Over 70% of respondents who reported use of data analytics for e-discovery/other investigations also reported they were using it for ECA. This result is promising as it suggests a good number oforganizations are making more strategic use of these tools—not just using them to reduce the corpus of documents to be reviewed or to get through it faster—but to get at the facts of the case more efficiently.

To learn more about CTRL, check out their website and download a copy of their survey today. To learn more about the IGI and IG, download a copy of our Annual Report 2015-2016 at our community site. Not a member? Join today.

 

15 Minutes Might Save You 15% On Insurance, But It Can Also Give You A Critical Analytics Benchmark

In response to feedback from our community, we just opened our benchmarking survey on the use of data analytics to non-attorneys working at or supporting in-house legal departments. If you haven’t taken the survey yet or were previously blocked by the survey please take 15 minutes to complete it, today.

While there has been huge movement towards advanced analytics in many industries, it is unclear how widely analytics are used by in-house legal departments. Recent advances in analytics could significantly advance the practice of law, but frankly, we do not know whether – or how – legal departments are using analytics. This survey is designed to help the Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (CTRL), IGI, and you, paint a clearer picture.

If you play any role related to the use of analytics by an in-house legal department, we want to hear from you. This includes lawyers, non-lawyers, paralegals, IT staff, analytics experts, and other professionals who work within or support a legal department.

Your participation will help us build a benchmark that you can use as you advance your use of analytics.

If you play any of these roles inside a law firm, look for future surveys focused on your use of analytics. At this time we are focused only on analytics use by in-house legal departments.

About This Research
CTRL is an industry education and research group committed to the development of practical and proactive guidance for lawyers as they attempt to leverage various technologies in their practice. The IGI is conducting this research on behalf of CTRL.

“Part of the challenge CTRL is trying to solve is the consumption gap between the availability of existing technologies and practitioner adoption – which is definitely a challenge for the legal profession that isn’t renowned for being early adopters. That said, advanced analytics, big data initiatives and machine learning applications are impacting every business sector, and the focal point of this innovative survey is to see how far along adoption was for a range of legal use cases,” according to Dean Gonsowski, President/Founder of CTRL.

The CTRL survey is the first annual version and will provide a baseline that can be used to measure increases in adoption rates over time. If you are an attorney working in an “in-house” role (e.g. at a private, non-profit, governmental, educational, or other entity), please take the survey today. Your input is important. The survey should take less than 15 minutes.

 

OUR ANNUAL SURVEY IS LIVE AND WE NEED YOUR HELP

In less than twelve months, our 2014 Annual Survey Report and its Creative Commons infographics have spread far and wide. They have appeared in presentations from IG practitioners looking for executive support. They’ve been used by IG providers looking for investment, and by policy-makers determining our future regulatory environment.

UPDATED Infographic- The Facets of Information Governance (3)

Our most popular infographic from 2014, which we have heard called, “the flower” and “the paint wheel.”

However, a lot can change in a year, especially in the fast-evolving world of IG.

It is time for our 2015 survey, and we need your help. We need 15 minutes of your day to provide insights only you can provide. Later this year we will report the results of your input and provide a number of free, and free-to-use, infographics to help support the adoption and update of IG across the globe.

This research is not possible without your help. We appreciate you time and your insight very much.

Please click here to participate.

 

TAKE CTRL’S SURVEY ON THE USE OF DATA ANALYTICS

While there has been a huge push around the use of advanced analytics, the extent to which the legal community has adopted these technologies remains unclear. The Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (CTRL) is exploring the use of data analytics by the legal community across several use cases.

CTRL is an industry education and research group committed to the development of practical and proactive guidance for lawyers as they attempt to leverage various technologies in their practice. The IGI is conducting this research on behalf of CTRL.

“Part of the challenge CTRL is trying to solve is the consumption gap between the availability of existing technologies and practitioner adoption – which is definitely a challenge for the legal profession that isn’t renowned for being early adopters. That said, advanced analytics, big data initiatives, and machine learning applications are impacting every business sector, and the focal point of this innovative survey is to see how far along adoption was for a range of legal use cases,” according to Dean Gonsowski, President/Founder of CTRL.

The CTRL survey is the first annual version and will provide a baseline that can be used to measure increases in adoption rates over time. If you are an attorney working in an “in-house” role (e.g. at a private, non-profit, governmental, or educational entity), please take the survey today. Your input is important. We cannot collect meaningful results without the help of practitioners. The survey should take less than 15 minutes of your time.