Big Data and Eggs indeed! What a great start to the Q2 Leadership Breakfast Series.  As is often the case with all of these events, we all knew that the conversation would be wide-ranging, and end in a much different place from where we started. But, as expected, at the end, I could not wait to to pick the discussion back up with a different group of professionals in Washington DC next week.  The attendees in New York yesterday were 50+ of the senior thought leaders in the eDiscovery and information governance space from top corporations and the AmLaw 500, and it was a pleasure sharing the room with each of them.  My only disappointment was that I did not get the chance to meet everyone.

For the start of the conversation, we dove straight into the ‘Big Data: An Emerging Influencer for eDiscovery, Compliance & Information Governance Careers’ topic.  We set the stage, spoke about the fact that this is not really a new topic, just couched differently with new stakeholders seated at the table (i.e. knowledge management, security, regulatory, analytics, etc…).  We discussed how ‘big data’ does not refer to a large discovery matter, but is a broader topic regarding the growing volume, velocity and variety of electronic data, that impacts each organization differently from multiple directions.  Not too far in, it was Monica Bay from LTN who attempted to put some framework around everything.  ‘What is the definition of Big Data?’ she asked the room.  This question focused the room and we moved forward in a much more concise manner from there.

We also touched on what the continuing discussion around big data in the corporate and law firm space means to eDiscovery professionals.  We concluded that eDiscovery’s desire for use and management of big data does not have to be at odds with other uses of that same data pool within an organization (such as customer service or sales). In fact, our skill sets and definitions for dealing with and analyzing big data, sets us up well to transition and expand our roles, to provide leadership where there is no clarity.

In the end ‘Big Data’ is a topic that gets the conversation started.  This topic is broad and requires a tight definition to reach any conclusions.  It also looks to be the topic de jour for the next cycle in our space.  I am looking forward to hearing what guests in Washington DC have to add to the conversation as well as seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones.

bolandMichael Boland is the Managing Director for Drinker Discovery Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP. Drinker Discovery Solutions, LLC provides full life cycle eDiscovery consulting, technology, and project management services. In his current role, Michael has full managerial responsibility, operational control, and oversight of Drinker Discovery Solutions, LLC. DDS works with Drinker Biddle & Reath clients as well as external non-firm clients to identify, preserve, collect, process, review, and produce data for use in adversarial proceedings. The DDS philosophy is to simplify eDiscovery and bring clients cost effective solutions by leveraging leading technology and processes driven by top tier project management.

Mr. Boland has worked for eDiscovery vendors, boutique and national consulting companies, practiced law relating to eDiscovery matters as well as worked in a consultative and project management capacity with AmLaw firms and Fortune 500 corporate legal departments.

Mr. Boland is a member of the American Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar. Michael received a BA from the University of Notre Dame, a JD from Golden Gate University and an MBA from the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University.

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