Often times we don’t ask questions or try fix what’s not broken, if it works it works. Does that mean operating as a database administrator entails that we don’t need find a way to do things better? In asking those questions they may help increase our review of documents efficiently and provide a better experience for our end users.
In my previous experience, I’ve worked as a Litigation Support Analyst at a large law firm with over 750 attorneys. During my time there, I’ve learned through trial and error many important tips and tricks that if I had known earlier, would have saved me much frustration and long hours at the office. With that being said, I want to share some of the tips and tricks that may help improve your current workflow.
- Communication: As a database administrator, you should never assume without verification. It is always very important to make sure you have the information you need as you build a Concordance database. Typically, a PM, Lead Attorney or paralegal may know much more about the case than you do. Speaking with them may help determine, what tags should be created, what custom fields may need to be created beforehand and how those fields should be organized for the reviewers. Or if the database needs to be sorted, by default, in a particular way such that a review can launch the database and be ready to review right away!
- Validation and tracking: During the course of review the unexpected can definitely happen. Thus, as an administrator it’s our job to be as prepared as possible for anything. In Concordance, there are several features that will allow us to track when an edit has been made to a record, who has added or removed a tag from a record and when records are imported into a database. Below are links that will direct you to each topic in our Concordance Answer Center. Viewing Tag History: http://help.lexisnexis.com/litigation/ac/cn_classic/index.html?viewing_tag_history.htm Viewing Tag Statistics: http://help.lexisnexis.com/litigation/ac/cn_classic/index.html?viewing_tag_statistics.htm
- Edit/Coding and Record Creation date settings: http://help.lexisnexis.com/litigation/ac/cn_classic/index.html?setting_data_validation.htm
- Supporting your reviewers: Whether you’re accustomed to the many features in Concordance that enable you to support your reviewers or not, there are several topics that will allow you to make their job much easier. One of the most important functions is searching. Administrators need to understand the basic searching concepts used in Concordance, including full-text vs. relational searching, using the many search operators available and how the structure of a database interacts with searching. One of the main topics I’d like to highlight is the difference between checking the “Key” box versus checking the “Indexed” box and apply these properties to a field. When a field is checked as key, that is meant to improve the relational searching and sorting speed for the information populated in that field. When a field is checked as indexed, that will index all contents within that field and allow for full-text searching. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a free for all and you should go ahead and check every field as Key and Indexed, you should do the opposite. Think about this, if every field is checked as key, that will then slow down the speed in terms of running relational searches and sorting in your database. On the flip side, if every field is checked as Indexed, then running full-text searches and getting your hit highlights will slow down as well. As an administrator, you want to find that balance between your fields, checking a handful of fields as key and a handful as indexed to better balanced performance. For more information, please see our Supporting Reviewers topic in our Concordance Answer Center, here: http://help.lexisnexis.com/litigation/ac/cn_classic/index.html?support_reviewers.htm