Leveraging Third-Party Software to Help Manage Document Reviews

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of posts by RVM's Manager of Attorney Review, Kevin Chang. You can read the first post and second post on our blog in our archive.

BinaryI recently discussed why it is important that persons managing a document review possess several skills traditionally considered the sole domain of the hosting and processing team. The ambit of a Review Manager’s technical know-how should not end at review platform expertise, however. There are a host of outside software applications that, while not specifically developed for document review, can no doubt be incredibly valuable towards maximizing review quality and efficiency once properly tailored.

One example of such extremely useful adjunct software is Microsoft Excel. Almost any document review platform is capable of exporting field data to a .csv file which can then be manipulated in Excel. Once there, Excel’s ability to examine and reorganize this information far outstrips the corresponding capabilities of any review tool.

Just a few things Excel is useful for:

  1. 1.Performing review metric breakdowns for client and outside counsel reports
  2. 2.Running field dependent Quality Control checks
  3. 3.Developing overlays for large field array editing in the review database
  4. 4.Creating linked forms for contract attorney performance self-reporting
  5. 5.Rapidly formatting privilege logs

In order to be able to perform the above, the Review Manager naturally needs to cultivate a particular Excel skill set. It’s recommended that at minimum, the Review Manager familiarize him or herself with the Autofilter, basic functions such as MATCH, COUNTIF, CONCATENATE, TRIM, etc., and pivot table creation. A working knowledge of how to construct Visual Basic macros can also be a tremendous asset for more advanced Excel utilization.

While Excel is the most prominent example of helpful third-party software, it is by no means the only one. PowerPoint can be very useful in both initial and iterative substantive review team training. In a similar function, screen capture software is nearly essential for any technical training a Review Manager might be called upon to provide for both the contract attorneys and counsel. Both PowerPoint and Excel can work in concert to create detailed and effective project reports for the client.

Naturally, a Review Manager needs to familiarize him or herself with each of the above tools before they can be implemented to aid the review. It’s highly recommended that vendors be able to provide in-house training for their review management staff in order to maximize the utility of this offering to their clients. Once these skills have been learned, their use is limited only by the Review Manager’s creativity. In the end, the proper leveraging of third-party software will reduce cost and drive increased quality.

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