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Metrics on what proportion of discovery covers electronic files on computers

We hear all the time about e-discovery, but what proportion of all document discovery does it constitute? It sounds like 60 percent might be a rule of thumb. These findings come from a survey of 235 mostly-US companies by the IT Policy Compliance Group (IT PCG) as reported in Info. Mgt., Vol. 43, Jan./Feb. 2009 at 10.

From a Symantec news release (Semantic provides funding for the IT PCG): “The study also reveals the amount of information subject to legal requests that is electronically stored information (ESI). Among large enterprises, ESI accounts for 50-70 percent of the data, 35 to 50 percent among midsize firms, and 20-35 percent among small businesses. But while greater levels of ESI mean higher confidence in accessibility, completeness, and accuracy of data, this advantage can only be leveraged to respond to legal requests if the data is indexed for rapid search, protection, preservation, and production.”

It is interesting, but not surprising once you think about it, that size of company correlates to percentage of records stored electronically. Newer companies, I suspect, have more of their documents online.