Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery

The amount of electronic information is exploding, and the information is more complex as it’s coming from number of different sources like email, instant messages, documents, videos etc. Managing ever growing data effectively to meet internal and external compliance requirements is more difficult than ever due to increased volume of data and source. To continue to meet legal, business, and regulatory compliance challenges, businesses must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant. Preparing for investigations, internal or external litigation, your organization needs to preserve relevant data for analysis and review. Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery feature in Security and Compliance center can help you quickly and cost-effectively locate, identify, and retrieve relevant information. No need to move content to a separate archive to store, index, and process.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery is a part of E5 license.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery leverage machine learning with predictive coding and text analytics to analyze unstructured data sets with a focus on data that’s most relevant to your search criteria. Predictive coding and text analytics intelligent in Advanced eDiscovery allows you to:

  • Organizes content into themes, so that reviewers and investigators can quickly browse and discover key content.
  • Advanced eDiscovery includes the Relevance application. An attorney who is familiar with the litigation at hand can train Relevance to automatically identify content that’s relevant to the case. This helps reduce the size of the data for review and thus saves review time.
  • Advanced eDiscovery organizes content by reconstructing email threads, identifying exact and near-duplicates, and intelligently batching content for review. These structures optimize the review process, replacing a traditional linear review by allowing reviewers to review documents in closely related and tightly structured groups.
  • In many eDiscovery cases, most unindexed content is in image files. With optical character recognition (OCR) capability, Advanced eDiscovery can extract text from image files or objects within the files. The text can then be analyzed by Advanced eDiscovery analytics. This reduces the amount of manual remediation work required to analyze image files.

Below diagram illustrate on how information governance and eDiscovery works in Office 365.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery

The intelligent analytics in advanced eDiscovery typically yield the following results.

  • Group near duplicate content to reduce review time and cost by between 20% and 30%.
  • Grouping emails in threads reduced the review time and cost by between 40% and 60%.
  • Using relevance resulted in a savings of between 60% and 90%.

Once you’re done with your analysis and reduced the amount of data with advanced eDiscovery leveraging machine learning and analytics, you can export it from Advanced eDiscovery. All the content can be downloaded to local workstation or copied to another location. The content is exported with associated HTML representations and text files to help review the output with third-party tools, if required. The export package includes a load file in CSV format. The CSV includes the metadata of the exported content and all the analytics metadata needed to organize the content, such as near-duplicates, threads, and themes.

Content Search and eDiscovery related activities that are performed in the Security & Compliance Center or run with the corresponding PowerShell cmdlets are logged in the Office 365 audit log. Events are logged when administrators or anyone who’s assigned eDiscovery permissions perform certain Content Search and eDiscovery related tasks in the Security & Compliance Center.

PowerShell script can also be used to run searches and export files. It’s recommended to leverage PowerShell script to automate the process.


Also published on Medium.

One comment

  • Tony Derricott

    Bravo to MSExpertTalk for indicating in a callout right after paragraph 1 the license necessary for this feature. Too many articles across the web – including those crafted by Microsoft themselves – do not make this indication clear.