To Infinity and Beyond! How to avoid eDiscovery 3D!

Posted on July 2, 2010


This week, my nine year old son invited me to see the 3D movie “Toy Story 3” with him in the movie theatre. I was instantly reminded of Buzz Lightyear’s infamous quote “to infinity and beyond”. As a trained mathematician, I have always been challenged by this concept and tried to make sense of it in my own universe.

Perhaps the 3D glasses helped me to see it clearly: “to infinity and beyond” is where the size of our data collection is going … unlimited, infinite data collections which keep on growing and growing and growing at exponential speeds!

These days, one individual can (and some do!) generate more information in one day than a whole company will read in a life time. Smart exploratory search, content analytics and text mining can help us to categorize and classify documents faster, but the real solution is to limit (or at least control) the explosive growth of the data collections. We need to take command of our vast information universe just as Buzz Lightyear conquers his own infinity and beyond. That may involve the use of cheaper (XML-based) storage, de-duplicating, implementing filing plans, developing retention schemes, creating a roadmap for total enterprise information archiving, and enforcing all the principles and policies, with or without Sheriff Woody’s involvement.

So, why do so many organizations still fail to take command? Is it because they have not been sued or investigated yet? Is it negligence or the result of bonuses that aim for short term profit optimization? Or are we just like the characters in “Toy Story”: we don’t learn and we keep on making the same (albeit sometimes funny) mistakes?

If you are ready to accept that your own universe of enterprise information is growing to “infinity and beyond” and in need of being conquered to avoid “eDiscovery 3D”, you can find several real-world tips here: