Large data sets in litigation are routine today. In this Nextpoint post, Tom O’Connor discusses 6 strategies for modern litigators to deal with them.

In his blog post (Understanding Large Data Sets: 6 Strategies for Modern Litigators, available here), Tom first sets the stage by discussing what Big Data is, via a definition from Oracle which says:

“The definition of big data is data that contains greater variety, arriving in increasing volumes and with more velocity. This is also known as the three ‘Vs.’”


Tom also provides several stats to illustrate just how “Big” Big Data has gotten, including these two:

Some studies show that 90% percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years and that every two years, the volume of data across the world doubles in size.

But perhaps my favorite part of Tom’s article (aside perhaps for the terrific strategies is his recapping of some of the “large” document cases he’s worked on. The first was in 1986 where he “maintained an index (no images) of 5 million pages loaded into the DOS (disk-based) version of Summation on a Compaq 386 computer with two 1.2 MB floppy drives and a 40 MB hard disk drive. The PC cost $7,999 and featured a 20 MHz Intel 80386 CPU, 1 MB RAM, and 16 KB ROM.” That was state of the art back then!

By 2011, Tom was working on the BP oil spill case with “1 billion pages of emails, word processing documents, spreadsheets, proprietary data applications, and instrumentation reports” which was “accessed by more than 100 outside law firms and their experts, representing more than 116,000 individual plaintiffs”! Wow.


As always, Tom provides a lot of information with plenty of links to resources in a straightforward manner that makes the article easy to read and understand. So, what are Tom’s 6 strategies for modern litigators to deal with large data sets? Find out here, it’s only one click! It’s a very small data set that you have to read! 😉

So, what do you think? What does your organization do to handle large data sets in litigation? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Image created using GPT-4’s Image Creator Powered by DALL-E, using the term “robot with glasses and a long white beard looking at a computer screen with a lot of data on it”.

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