What if your organization is suddenly hit with a legal investigation, and you need to sift through terabytes of data to find relevant information. The clock is ticking, and the stakes are high. How do you ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines or legal repercussions? Legal compliance is a critical aspect of any organization’s operations. In fact, businesses can face fines upwards of $14.82 million on average failing to comply with data regulations and legal requests. This staggering figure highlights the importance of having robust eDiscovery solutions in place. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery is one such solution. 

It is an advanced solution designed to streamline the entire eDiscovery process, from data identification to analysis and review. It helps legal teams efficiently manage and respond to legal matters and internal investigations, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with traditional methods. Let’s discuss how Microsoft Purview eDiscovery can transform your legal processes and safeguard your organization against compliance risks. 



What is Microsoft Purview eDiscovery?


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery is a comprehensive tool designed to assist organizations in managing legal compliance and internal investigations. It streamlines the eDiscovery process by offering functionalities such as data identification, preservation, collection, review, and export.  

For example, during a legal investigation, an organization can use Purview eDiscovery to place legal holds on relevant data, collect information from multiple Microsoft 365 sources like Teams and SharePoint, and use advanced search capabilities to find specific documents or communications. This not only ensures compliance with legal requirements but also reduces the time and cost involved in handling large volumes of data. 

With Microsoft Purview eDiscovery, organizations can ensure that they are not only meeting their legal obligations but also enhancing their overall data management and security practices. Whether you’re dealing with legal holds, custodian management, or data export, Purview eDiscovery offers a comprehensive suite of tools to master legal compliance effortlessly. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


Importance of eDiscovery in Legal Compliance and Investigations 

eDiscovery (electronic discovery) is crucial for legal compliance and investigations because it enables organizations to systematically identify, collect, and review electronically stored information (ESI) that is relevant to legal cases. 

1. Regulatory Compliance 

Organizations are required by law to retain and produce relevant electronic records during legal proceedings. Failing to comply can result in severe penalties, including fines and sanctions. For example, companies in the financial sector must adhere to regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which mandates the preservation of specific documents and communications. 

2. Efficient Legal Investigations 

eDiscovery tools streamline the process of locating and retrieving relevant data, significantly reducing the time and effort required. This is critical during legal investigations where timely access to information can influence the outcome of a case. 

3. Cost Reduction 

Traditional methods of document review are time-consuming and expensive. eDiscovery automates much of this process, leading to substantial cost savings. According to a report by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, eDiscovery solutions can reduce legal review costs by up to 50%. 

4. Data Security and Integrity 

eDiscovery ensures that sensitive data is handled securely, reducing the risk of data breaches or loss. By maintaining the integrity of the data, organizations can ensure that the information presented in legal proceedings is accurate and reliable. 

5. Improved Decision Making 

By providing a comprehensive view of the available data, eDiscovery tools help legal teams make informed decisions. This can lead to better legal strategies and outcomes and quicker resolution of legal disputes. 


Microsoft purview


What Are the Challenges with Traditional eDiscovery? 

While eDiscovery is essential, traditional methods often fall short in today’s data-flooded environment. Here’s why: 

1. Data Volume Explosion 

Traditional methods struggle to handle the ever-increasing volume of data – emails, chats, social media posts, etc. – residing across diverse sources. Manual data collection becomes cumbersome and inefficient.  

2. Hidden Costs  

Manual review of mountains of data is time-consuming and expensive, requiring significant legal team resources. Additionally, handling and securing large data volumes can incur additional storage costs. 

3. Lack of Scalability  

Traditional approaches often lack the scalability to handle complex cases with vast amounts of data or multiple custodians (individuals with potentially relevant information).  

4. Security Concerns  

Transferring sensitive data during eDiscovery carries inherent security risks. Traditional methods might not have the robust security features needed to protect confidential information. 

5. Inefficient Review  

Sorting through irrelevant data takes time away from reviewing truly important information. Traditional methods lack the AI-powered capabilities to prioritize and categorize data effectively. 

6. Inconsistent Workflows  

Manual processes and reliance on different tools for various tasks can lead to inconsistencies and delays throughout the eDiscovery process. 


Different Types of Microsoft Purview eDiscovery Solutions  

Microsoft Purview offers a tiered approach to eDiscovery, catering to different needs and budgets. Here’s a breakdown of the available solutions:

1. Content Search

This entry-level option allows you to search for content across various Microsoft 365 sources like Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint.  

Ideal for: Simple searches for readily identifiable data in limited locations. 

Limitations: Lacks case management features, legal hold capabilities, and advanced review functionalities.

2. eDiscovery (Standard)

This mid-tier solution expands on Content Search by enabling: 

  • Creation of eDiscovery cases for organized management. 
  • Assigning eDiscovery managers for case oversight. 
  • Exporting search results for further analysis. 

Ideal for: Organizations requiring more structure and control over eDiscovery processes for internal investigations or smaller legal matters. 

Limitations: May not be suitable for complex cases with extensive data or advanced review needs.

3. eDiscovery (Premium)

This top-tier solution offers a comprehensive eDiscovery experience, including: 

  • All features of eDiscovery (Standard). 
  • Legal hold notification workflows. 
  • Custodian management for targeted data collection. 
  • Advanced analytics and prioritization tools using AI (Predictive Coding). 
  • Secure collaboration features for legal teams. 
  • Robust reporting and export capabilities and more

Ideal for: Organizations facing complex legal challenges, large data volumes, or requiring advanced review capabilities. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


Key Capabilities of Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


1. Data Sources and Collection

Supported Data Sources

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery supports a wide range of data sources, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and more. This extensive support ensures that all relevant data across an organization can be included in eDiscovery processes, enhancing thoroughness and compliance.  

Keyword Queries and Search Conditions

Users can create sophisticated Keyword Query Language (KQL) queries to search for specific content within their data sources. This feature allows for precise and targeted searches, ensuring that only relevant data is retrieved. Search conditions can be added to narrow down results, such as date ranges, authors, and specific keywords.   

Advanced Filtering and Search Options

Advanced filtering options enable users to further refine their search results by applying various filters. These include metadata filters, content type filters, and more. The ability to save and reuse these filters as queries helps streamline the eDiscovery process, making it more efficient and repeatable . 

2. Holds and Legal Holds

Placing and Managing Holds 

Legal holds are critical for preserving data that may be relevant to ongoing or anticipated litigation. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows users to place holds on specific content locations, ensuring that the data cannot be deleted or altered. Managing these holds involves tracking which data sources are under hold and ensuring compliance with legal requirements.   

Auto-Holds for Proactive Compliance 

Auto-holds are a proactive feature that automatically places holds on data based on predefined criteria. This helps organizations stay ahead of compliance requirements by ensuring that relevant data is preserved as soon as it meets certain conditions, without manual intervention. 

3. Case Management and Review Sets

Creating and Managing Cases

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows users to create and manage cases, which are containers for all the eDiscovery activities related to a specific legal matter. This includes adding custodians, defining search criteria, and managing holds. Effective case management ensures that all relevant data is collected and organized systematically.  

Building and Refining Review Sets 

Review sets are collections of data that have been identified as potentially relevant to a case. Users can add data to review sets, apply filters, and use advanced indexing to make the data fully searchable. This helps in organizing and prioritizing data for further review and analysis, making the process more efficient. 

4. Communication and Collaboration Tools

These tools facilitate collaboration among legal teams by allowing them to share insights, annotate documents, and track the progress of eDiscovery tasks. Features like conversation threading in Microsoft Teams enable the collection and review of entire chat conversations, providing context to the data being reviewed. 

5. Exports and Reporting

Exporting Data for Further Analysis

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows users to export data for further analysis. This includes exporting data from review sets to local computers or other storage locations. The exported data can be used in third-party review tools, ensuring that the analysis can continue seamlessly outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.  

Generating Customizable Reports

Customizable reporting features provide detailed insights into the eDiscovery process. Users can generate reports on search results, data collections, and review set contents. These reports can be tailored to meet specific requirements, providing valuable information for legal teams and stakeholders.  


Microsoft Purview


 6. Role-based Permissions

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery utilizes role-based access control (RBAC) to ensure that only authorized users can perform eDiscovery-related tasks. Administrators can assign predefined roles or create custom roles tailored to specific needs, allowing granular control over what users can do. For example, an organization might allow a legal assistant to view and search data but restrict them from placing holds or exporting data. This ensures data security and compliance by preventing unauthorized access and actions. 

7. Custodian Management

Custodian management is crucial for identifying and preserving data held by individuals relevant to an investigation. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows administrators to add custodians to a case, place their data on hold, and manage their communications. This feature helps ensure that all relevant data is preserved and easily accessible. It also includes managing non-custodial data sources that might be pertinent to the case, ensuring comprehensive data coverage.

8. Advanced Indexing

Advanced indexing reprocesses data to make it fully searchable, ensuring no relevant information is overlooked. This feature reindexes content locations associated with custodians and non-custodial data sources, converting partially indexed data into a fully searchable format. It significantly enhances the accuracy and efficiency of the search and review process, making sure all relevant data can be easily found and analyzed.

9. Predictive Coding and Smart Tags

Predictive coding leverages machine learning to prioritize and filter data, reducing the amount of irrelevant information that legal teams need to review. Smart tags allow users to categorize and label data based on relevance and other criteria, making it easier to manage and analyze large datasets. These features help streamline the review process and ensure that only pertinent data is examined, saving time and reducing costs.

10. Error Remediation

Error remediation addresses issues that prevent data from being processed correctly, such as password-protected files or corrupted data. Users can download problematic files, fix the issues, and re-upload them for proper indexing and review. This feature ensures that all relevant data is included in the eDiscovery process and minimizes disruptions caused by data errors. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


11. Analytics

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery includes robust analytics tools that provide insights into data patterns and trends. These tools help legal teams to quickly identify relevant information and make informed decisions. Analytics can reveal connections between data points, highlight anomalies, and assist in developing legal strategies. This feature enhances the overall effectiveness of the eDiscovery process by enabling deeper data analysis.

12. Computed Document Metadata

Computed document metadata provides additional context for documents by calculating and displaying metadata properties, such as document creation dates, authors, and modification histories. This feature helps legal teams understand the context and relevance of each document, making the review process more efficient and thorough. Metadata can be used to filter and sort documents, further refining the data set for review.

13. Support for Cloud Attachments and SharePoint Versions

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery supports the collection and review of cloud attachments and different versions of SharePoint documents. This ensures that all relevant versions and linked documents are included in the eDiscovery process. By capturing the exact versions of documents as they were shared, this feature ensures compliance and provides a complete picture of the data landscape (source: Microsoft Learn). 

14. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR functionality allows Microsoft Purview eDiscovery to extract text from images and scanned documents, making this text searchable and analyzable. This feature is particularly useful for documents that were originally in hard copy form or contain important information embedded in images. OCR ensures that no relevant data is missed during searches, enhancing the completeness of the eDiscovery process (source: Microsoft Security Blog).

15. Conversation Threading

Conversation threading organizes chat messages and email threads into coherent sequences, preserving the context of communications. This feature is essential for understanding the full scope of conversations, particularly in platforms like Microsoft Teams and email. By maintaining the conversational context, legal teams can better assess the relevance and implications of the communications under review (source: Microsoft Tech Community). 



The Advantages of Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


1. Increased Efficiency and Streamlined Workflows:

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery enhances efficiency by automating many manual tasks involved in the eDiscovery process. This includes data identification, collection, and review, all within a unified platform. The streamlined workflows reduce the time required for legal teams to gather and analyze relevant information, making the entire process faster and more efficient.  

 2. Automation Capabilities

The platform offers advanced automation features such as automatic legal holds, predictive coding, and machine learning-driven analytics. These capabilities minimize manual intervention, reduce errors, and allow legal teams to focus on more strategic tasks. Automation helps in quickly sifting through large volumes of data to find the most relevant information, significantly speeding up the eDiscovery process. 

3. Centralized Management

With Microsoft Purview eDiscovery, organizations can manage all eDiscovery activities from a single platform. This centralized approach simplifies the coordination and execution of eDiscovery tasks, ensuring consistency and compliance across the organization. Centralized management also provides a holistic view of all ongoing cases, making it easier to track progress and manage resources effectively.

4. Reduced Costs

By automating labor-intensive tasks and reducing the need for manual data review, Microsoft Purview eDiscovery helps organizations save on labor costs. Additionally, the efficient workflows and advanced search capabilities minimize the amount of data that needs to be reviewed, further reducing costs associated with legal reviews and external legal services. 

5. Cost-Effective Cloud-Based Solution

As a cloud-based solution, Microsoft Purview eDiscovery eliminates the need for expensive on-premises infrastructure and maintenance. Organizations can scale their eDiscovery capabilities as needed without significant capital investment, paying only for the resources they use. The cloud-based model also ensures that the latest features and updates are available without additional costs. 

 6. Improved Search Accuracy Minimizes Review Time

Advanced search and filtering capabilities, including keyword queries and metadata filtering, ensure high search accuracy. This minimizes the amount of irrelevant data returned, reducing the time and effort required for legal teams to review documents. The improved accuracy helps legal teams quickly identify and focus on the most pertinent information.

7. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery includes robust security features such as role-based access control, encryption, and secure data transfer. These features protect sensitive information and ensure that only authorized personnel have access to specific data. Enhanced security measures help organizations meet regulatory requirements and safeguard against data breaches.

8. Built-in Data Security Features

The platform’s built-in security features, including data encryption, access controls, and audit logs, ensure that all eDiscovery activities are secure and compliant with industry standards. These features protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and provide a clear audit trail for all eDiscovery activities. 

9. Regulatory Compliance Support

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery helps organizations comply with various regulatory requirements by providing tools to manage and preserve data in accordance with legal mandates. The platform supports compliance with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and FINRA, ensuring that all necessary data is preserved and accessible for legal proceedings.   

10. Improved Collaboration and Communication

The platform includes collaboration tools that facilitate communication among legal teams, enabling them to share insights and coordinate efforts more effectively. Features like conversation threading and shared review sets enhance collaboration, ensuring that all team members have access to the same information and can work together seamlessly.  

11. Secure Team Communication Tools

Microsoft Purview eDiscovery integrates with Microsoft Teams, allowing secure communication and collaboration within legal teams. This integration ensures that all communications related to eDiscovery are secure and preserved, providing a complete record of discussions and decisions made during the eDiscovery process. 

12. Real-Time Visibility into Case Progress:

The platform provides real-time dashboards and reporting tools that give legal teams visibility into the progress of their eDiscovery cases. This real-time information helps teams track milestones, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions quickly. Real-time visibility ensures that cases are managed efficiently and deadlines are met. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


Getting Started with Microsoft Purview eDiscovery 

To begin using Microsoft Purview eDiscovery, ensure that your organization has the appropriate licenses. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery is available in two tiers: eDiscovery (Standard) and eDiscovery (Premium). Verify that you have the necessary licenses and subscriptions for the required features. For detailed licensing information, refer to the Microsoft 365 compliance documentation. 

Step 2: Assign eDiscovery Permissions

Proper permissions are crucial for managing eDiscovery tasks. Use role-based access control (RBAC) to assign permissions to users. Roles such as eDiscovery Manager and eDiscovery Administrator can be assigned through the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. This ensures that only authorized personnel can access and manage eDiscovery cases and data. More information on setting up roles and permissions can be found on Microsoft Learn. 

Step 3: Configure Organization-Wide Settings 

Before creating cases, configure your organization-wide eDiscovery settings. This includes setting up data locations and configuring hold settings. Ensure that all relevant data sources, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business, are included. This setup is essential for comprehensive data collection and preservation. 

Step 4: Create and Manage Cases 

Create eDiscovery cases to manage investigations. In the Microsoft Purview compliance portal, navigate to the eDiscovery section and create a new case. Add relevant data custodians, define search criteria, and set up legal holds as necessary. Effective case management ensures all relevant data is collected and preserved. 

Step 5: Perform Searches and Collections 

Utilize the search capabilities to identify relevant data. Create keyword queries and apply search conditions to narrow down results. Once the search is complete, you can view statistics and export results for further analysis. This step is crucial for gathering all pertinent information for your case. 

Step 6: Manage Holds and Preservation 

Place legal holds on data to ensure it is preserved throughout the investigation. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows you to place holds on content locations, preventing data from being altered or deleted. Manage these holds effectively to comply with legal requirements and ensure data integrity. 

Step 7: Review and Analyze Data 

Add collected data to review sets and use advanced indexing to make it fully searchable. Apply filters, tags, and annotations to organize and prioritize data. Use analytics tools to identify patterns and relevant information, aiding in the legal review process. This step helps streamline the review and analysis phase, making it more efficient. 

Step 8: Export Data and Generate Reports 

Export data from review sets for further analysis or legal review. Microsoft Purview eDiscovery allows you to export data in various formats, including native and EDRM-specified formats. Additionally, generate customizable reports to provide insights into the eDiscovery process and ensure all relevant data is accounted for. 


Microsoft fabric


Use Cases for Microsoft Purview eDiscovery 

While Microsoft Purview eDiscovery excels at traditional legal holds and investigations, its capabilities extend far beyond. Here’s a look at some advanced use cases that unlock its full potential:

1. Insider Risk Management

Early Warning System: Purview can integrate with Microsoft Insider Risk Management solutions. When risky user activities are flagged, Purview can be used to quickly collect and review relevant data for potential misconduct, allowing for swift intervention and investigation.

2. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Integration

Proactive Data Protection: DLP solutions identify and prevent sensitive data breaches. Purview integrates seamlessly with DLP, allowing you to collect and review data flagged for potential exfiltration attempts, helping to ensure data security and regulatory compliance.

3. Integration with Other Microsoft Compliance Solutions

Holistic Compliance Approach: Purview integrates with other Microsoft compliance solutions like Information Protection (Azure Information Protection) and Cloud App Security. This allows you to leverage data classification and access controls from these solutions within your eDiscovery workflows, simplifying data identification and streamlining compliance efforts. 

 4. Legal and Investigative Matters

Internal Investigations: eDiscovery helps investigate employee misconduct, policy violations, or financial irregularities by efficiently collecting and reviewing relevant electronic data like emails, documents, and chat logs.  

Litigation Support: During lawsuits, Purview streamlines the process of identifying and producing electronically stored information (ESI) relevant to the case, ensuring timely and accurate legal responses. 

Regulatory Inquiries: Meeting regulatory demands often involves collecting and reviewing specific data. Purview facilitates this process for inquiries related to data privacy, financial compliance, or intellectual property. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


 5. Beyond Legal

Human Resources Investigations: Investigate potential discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination claims by reviewing relevant emails, documents, and communication records within Purview. 

Data Breach Response: In case of a data breach, Purview can help identify the source of the breach, the extent of compromised data, and potentially exposed individuals by analyzing relevant electronic communication. 

Information Governance: Purview assists with managing and disposing of electronic data according to organizational policies. You can identify and review data nearing its retention expiry date for proper archiving or deletion. 

Business Intelligence and Analytics: While not its primary function, Purview can be used to collect and analyze historical communication data to gain insights into business processes, employee collaboration patterns, or customer interactions. 


Microsoft Purview eDiscovery


Kanerika: Leading the Way in Microsoft Purview Solutions 

Choosing Kanerika for the implementation of Microsoft Purview solutions, including MS Purview eDiscovery, is a strategic move for any business looking to enhance their compliance and data management capabilities. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Kanerika brings a wealth of expertise and a proven track record in delivering top-notch Microsoft solutions.  

With a Microsoft MVP on board, Kanerika offers unparalleled insight and guidance, ensuring that your organization leverages the full potential of Microsoft technologies. 

Our experience spans across various industries, implementing a range of Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft Fabric and Copilot. This extensive experience means that Kanerika understands the unique challenges and requirements of different sectors, allowing them to tailor solutions that meet specific business needs 

With a comprehensive approach, we ensure that MS Purview eDiscovery is seamlessly integrated into your existing systems, providing robust data management and compliance tools that enhance operational efficiency. 

Partnering with Kanerika means you benefit from their deep industry knowledge, technical expertise, and a commitment to delivering results. Let Kanerika lead your organization towards better compliance and data management with their expert implementation of Microsoft Purview solutions. 


Microsoft purview eDiscovery


Frequently Asked Questions

What is eDiscovery in Microsoft Purview?

eDiscovery in Microsoft Purview is a set of tools that help organizations identify, collect, and preserve electronically stored information (ESI) for legal and regulatory purposes. It streamlines the process of locating and securing data across various Microsoft 365 services, ensuring compliance with legal obligations and facilitating efficient legal reviews. 

What is Microsoft Purview used for?

Microsoft Purview is a comprehensive data governance solution that helps organizations manage, protect, and govern their data. It includes features for data discovery, classification, compliance management, risk management, and data lifecycle management, ensuring data privacy, security, and regulatory compliance across various platforms and services. 

What are eDiscovery tools?

eDiscovery tools are software solutions designed to locate, collect, review, and manage electronic data for legal cases and investigations. They facilitate the process of identifying relevant information from vast data repositories, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements while reducing the time and cost involved in manual data review. 

What is the difference between discovery and eDiscovery?

Discovery is the legal process of exchanging information between parties in a lawsuit. eDiscovery specifically refers to the process of identifying, collecting, and producing electronically stored information (ESI). While traditional discovery deals with physical documents, eDiscovery focuses on digital data, including emails, documents, and other electronic records. 

What is eDiscovery in DLP?

eDiscovery in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) involves identifying and securing sensitive data that may be subject to legal holds or investigations. DLP eDiscovery features help organizations locate and preserve critical information to prevent data breaches and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. 

What is coding in Microsoft Purview eDiscovery?

Coding in Microsoft Purview eDiscovery refers to the process of categorizing and tagging documents during the review phase. This involves using machine learning and predictive coding to prioritize and filter data, ensuring that the most relevant information is reviewed first, which enhances efficiency and accuracy in legal investigations. 

What are the advantages of MS Purview eDiscovery?

MS Purview eDiscovery offers several advantages, including streamlined workflows, advanced automation capabilities, centralized management of legal cases, and robust security features. It reduces the time and cost associated with legal reviews, improves compliance with regulatory requirements, and provides powerful tools for efficient data management and analysis.