EDRM Data Mapping Project Survey Results Released

EDRM Data Mapping Project, with a flowchart diagram

EDRM’s Data Mapping Project released the results of its 2020 survey of community practices. The survey was designed to to establish how often our community engages with data mapping, and where the gaps in available resources might be.

[A]lthough 77% of respondents always undertake a data mapping exercise before collection, a similar proportion (75%) do not have any data mapping precedents. 

Rachel McAdams

Law Firm respondents were double that of Corporate yet “less than 5% of respondents were lawyers: the main roles represented are litigation support, paralegals, and director-level roles. 45% of respondents also worked in an organization of over 1000 employees,” according to Project Co-Trustee, Rachel McAdams of A&L Goodbody.

Over half of respondents say their organization has an active strategy for data mapping. Another 36% of respondents have it on their radar. Only 12% of respondents’ organizations aren’t engaged with data mapping. 

77% of respondents undertake data mapping before a data collection yet a similar proportion (75%) do not have any data mapping precedents, indicating an ad hoc approach that can benefit from tools and resources, including checklists of questions to ask, best practices and advice on specific data types the top resources requested, according to McAdams.

While the IT department conducting over 60% of data mapping exercises, risk professionals are more than twice as likely as attorneys to map data, indicating that this is an area that can benefit from multidisciplinary collaboration.

Doug Austin of EdiscoveryToday covered the results and opined:

Not surprisingly, there still appears to be a need for resources and guidance on how to carry out data mapping – and this is from a group of respondents that have probably given a bit of thought to data mapping.  Imagine how the general legal community feels about it!

Read Rachel McAdams’ LinkedIn post reporting out the results of the survey here.



Mary Mack

Mary Mack is the CEO and Chief Legal Technologist for EDRM. Mary was the co-editor of the Thomson Reuters West Treatise, eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel for 10 years and the co-author of A Process of Illumination: the Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery. She holds the CISSP among her certifications.

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