Data Mapping

A Data Map will encompass the people, process and technology employed in the creation and storage of data. It will identify its location in both physical and digital form, its business use, its part in the risk and litigation portfolio. It will address the existing and relevant retention policies and governance practices.

The process of creating an organizationís Data Map might be triggered by a number of factors. An organization prospers in the current day as result of its ability to quickly identify, isolate, examine and produce key information assets that relate to a risk or opportunity event. The more effectively and efficiently an organization can do this will greatly enhance its ability to either identify and seize business opportunities, or, as is more often the case, respond to litigation with confidence and accuracy. A well-constructed Data Map will provide a much needed vehicle for communication between the IT and legal departments, and thereby enhance the ability of your counsel to construct valid and compelling arguments.

Companies can and should construct their own Data Maps, and they should do so on a regular basis, but there are a number of factors that can make this tricky, cumbersome and time consuming. The Map can be thought of as a project across the organization. The assembler will create a more effective project if he/she has knowledge and buy in from the key constituents which could be IT, Legal, Risk/Compliance, Records Management, HR. This blend of knowledge and influence can be hard to come by within a single organization, and the time and focus hard to allocate. Organizations should consider the use of an outside resource with existing knowledge of the potential uses of such a Data Map from a risk mitigation and legal perspective.

SullivanStrickler has that breadth of knowledge, in particular how discoverable data might ultimately be employed by either side of opposing counsel.

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