Best Practices for Short Message Data Review and Privilege

February 2024 | Fusion Tips

Nowadays, most organizations utilize short message applications, such as IMs, Slack, or Microsoft Teams chat. Our client data shows that organizations use these applications at a rate of 50 to 80 percent of the time for internal communications. The PLUS Fusion team recently worked on a case that involved less than 4,000 e-mails but over 3 million short messages. The challenge is that data from these applications from years ago still exists and can be cumbersome come collection and review time.

Manage Data by Channel/Group or Project

To combat the large amounts of chaotic data, the Fusion team believes the best practice for short message data is to manage it by channel/group rather than by date. Organizations typically set up channels/groups to work together on a specific topic, department, or project. If data from several channels/groups is sorted by date, topics will be mixed, and some of the nuances of conversation may be missed. However, by managing the data by channel/group, it will still be conversational – even if the topic is picked back up three days later.

Unitize the Data for Review

The best way to organize the channel/group data to prepare for review is to unitize it - usually by date or month – breaking it into manageable chunks and keeping it organized as reviewers check out batches. Multi-year channels could result in thousands of pages; therefore, ensure there's a way to track where you are so if something happens, you don't lose your place in the documents. Organizing the data, making batches small enough to be digestible, and keeping one person reviewing a channel/group are the best ways to ensure conversations follow the right path, much like reading chapters in a book.

Identifying Privilege and Confidential Data

Identifying privilege and confidentiality while reviewing short messages can be a challenge. Short messages tend to be more casual and conversational - nuances can be missed, and identifying everyone’s role can be difficult. For instance, the general counsel may have an informal nickname that is used frequently within the chat. This nickname must be noted in order to avoid missing any privileged data.

The general counsel may be very present monitoring a channel/group but never says anything. It's easy to find privilege when a specific person says something but more complicated when he's not always weighing in. And though the legal counsel may not be talking every day, the entire discussion is privileged if he said something previously or called you and told you to do these things. So, knowing who's on the channel and what role they're playing is essential.

Identification of confidential information is also a critical factor in review. Within conversations, people will often talk about other things, such as how much money the company has made or even HR and HIPAA-related conversations that may take place. These conversations would be a heightened level of confidentiality.  

The PLUSnxt Advantage

The Fusion team knows how to look for the nuances of privileged and confidential data. All tools and resources available will be utilized in the review process, including highly trained reviewers, AI to help score data, and managing the data utilizing best practices. PLUSnxt uses all these resources together in a workflow to ensure you get the best product possible.

Learn "Managed Review Tips" from PLUSnxt