Data Mapping

One of the most critical activities in preparation for litigation is to identify the kinds and locations of records that need to be preserved. Is your organization or your client ready to do that by preparing a data map of  information repositories and the data and records located there? The courts and litigation adversaries may demand it!

What exactly is a data map anyway? Well, its one of those technology related terms that is changing as we speak to mean different things in different business contexts. It used to be that we talked about data mostly in the context of databases or computer applications operations. Good old Wikipedia has a nice definition and discussion of that perspective with “In computing and data management, data mapping is the process of creating data element mappings between two distinct data models. Data mapping is used as a first step for a wide variety of data integration tasks ….” (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_mapping). However, in the context of litigation, e-discovery, and legal holds placed on data, the term data mapping actually is used to refer to itemization and description of potentially relevant electronically stored information (ESI). In fact, many data “maps” are not very graphical and consist of an itemization of instances of records/documents/data with their names, locations, and descriptions. They resemble more of what in the past we termed “electronic records inventories.”

So, will the client be able to conduct the inventory for the data mapping on their own? (There are well documented dangers for custodian “self collection”.) Or do you need some help? Need assistance? Contact us today!

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