Check out the highlights from On Point 2022, Nextpoint’s annual ediscovery conference.
They came for the hands-on technical support sessions, but stayed for the networking, thought leadership, mimosas, architecture cruise, and an epic 20th anniversary party! That was the general, happy consensus coming from attendees to the 2022 On Point User Conference hosted by Nextpoint.
On September 22nd and 23rd, an amazing crew of Nextpoint employees, clients, partners, legal technology visionaries, and more congregated at the Nextpoint headquarters in Chicago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company, learn more about the Nextpoint platform, and soak up all things ediscovery, litigation support, and trial presentation.
The On Point 2022 ediscovery conference was offered as a hybrid event with clients traveling from all over the country to attend in person, plus a virtual crowd attending the keynote and product announcements over Zoom. If you missed the conference (and the epic in-person party!), or just want to relive the fun, here are some highlights from On Point 2022.
There’s Never Been A Better Time for Ediscovery
As part of our valued partnership with the Association of Certified EDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS), we enjoyed a brief message from Mike Quartararo, President of ACEDS, on the exciting progression of the ediscovery industry. Mike shared a few insights from the freshly-released 2022 ACEDS Membership Report, including statistics on the growing market value of the ediscovery industry. In the coming years, it is expected to exceed $20 billion. “There’s never been a more interesting time to be part of the growing ediscovery industry,” Michael said.
The Cloud Powers Ediscovery Innovation
Just like the ediscovery industry, Nextpoint has seen tremendous growth since our early days as pioneers of the cloud in legal tech, a point emphasized in the keynote presentation from Nextpoint’s founder and CEO, Rakesh (Rocky) Madhava. After describing the joy of welcoming Nextpoint customers to an ediscovery conference where they can network, share with other users, and learn more about using the Nextpoint platform, Rocky explained how the company is focused on building a “customer-centric” experience from efficiency to security to sustainability.
Twenty years ago, Rocky knew that building a platform on the cloud was the right way to go, but he didn’t expect the pushback to utilizing the power and structural advantages of the cloud that he witnessed in those early days. But he stuck with it because he believed it was the right thing to do, and today that has put Nextpoint far ahead of many competitors that are trying to pivot their products to the cloud. As Rocky stated, Nextpoint isn’t trying to “build our software for the cloud – our software has always been cloud-based.”
Another huge transition for Nextpoint came when the we moved to unlimited data plans and did away with per-GB fees that had been the perpetual standard in the ediscovery industry. As you might imagine, customers were thrilled with the change, but that also meant data stored in Nextpoint started rising dramatically. Rocky explained that while it took 12 years for Nextpoint to store the first petabyte of data (that’s 1000 terabytes), it only took 24 months to store the second petabyte of data! (And he predicted the third petabyte is coming in the next 6 months).
The exponential growth of data in Nextpoint reflects a larger trend in the ediscovery industry: volumes of legal case data have exploded. This is what led Nextpoint to develop a new groundbreaking technology launched at On Point 2022: Data Mining.
Data Mining: The ECA Tool of The Future
After Rocky announced the launch of Data Mining, Tricia Boguslawski, Nextpoint’s Chief Revenue Officer, took over to share key highlights of the new application. Data Mining rounds out our full self-service model of legal technology that carries you from the earliest stages of litigation and Early Case Assessment to your final trial presentation.
Data Mining “allows users to process, analyze, and report on extremely high volumes of data in significantly less time, and with an eye toward revealing only what you really need in a case,” Tricia explained.
Years ago, cases were just a few gigabytes of data or a few boxes of paper. Now, we typically see around 200 gigabytes of data per case. With Data Mining, users can take better control of this data earlier in their case. It allows Nextpoint to expand our offerings further left on the litigation continuum and understand client data before a case even gets started.
Tricia emphasized the benefits we’ve already seen using Data Mining for our clients. On average, it processes data 30 times faster than our previous model and reduces initial data sets by 85%. Finally, she concluded: “Over the years, we’ve always put our users’ needs first, building product that will help you get your job done more efficiently and focus on what matters – which is practicing and winning your case.”
Dive Deeper Into Data Mining
Next, our product team took over to give a closer look at the Data Mining platform. Leah Macdonald, Product Manager for Data Mining, walked through all the features of the app, starting with the seamless imports processing at 500 GB per hour. She showed off the home page, which gives a high level visual overview of all the data, including snapshots of searchability, custodian breakdown, import errors, file type frequency, and more.
She demonstrated the advanced search function, which allows users to run multiple searches at the same time and save and edit these searches. Then, they can combine these searches with other criteria, such as custodian or date range, to create “slices” for analysis. The options for organizing and understanding your data are limitless.
Finally, Leah showed off the detailed reports that users can generate, such as search hit reports and import summary reports. We want Data Mining to be a visual experience for our users. With these reports, the information is easy to digest with a quick look, and you can use the illustrations to dive into the data for deeper analysis.
Daniel D’Angelo, Head of Product, emphasized the value of Data Mining’s serverless architecture – not only is it fast, but it’s highly scalable. We didn’t just build this technology for the average caseload of 200 GB – we built it for the biggest cases that have 2, 5, or even 10 terabytes of data. Current technologies break at that scale, but Data Mining can handle it without a hitch.
Getting AI and Technology To Work For You, Not Against You
After sharing all of the exciting new features and functions that Nextpoint has been working on to support our customer-centric vision, we invited some legal technology thought leaders to join us for a panel discussion on the role of Artificial Intelligence in eLaw and ediscovery.
We were joined by Daniel Linna Jr., Director of Law and Technology Initiatives at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and McCormick School of Engineering; Joseph Gartner, Director of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation; Sonali Ray, Director of Legal Strategy at Nextpoint; and Bruce Fein, Legal Director and Co-Founder of Dagger Analytics. It was an invigorating discussion about the intersection of AI and the practice of law, including some ethical considerations as well as practical implementation.
Bruce Fein began by explaining what AI can look like in the legal context. “AI is about getting a computer to make a decision, like relevant or not relevant,” he said. “These tools are intelligently moving toward the best algorithm for making that decision. Rather than you creating that algorithm, the computer is figuring it out for you.”
After weaving through the intricacies of AI in the legal field – what it can do, what it cannot do, how to use it ethically, and more – the conversation wrapped up with a reflection on how our approach to AI should change. “All too often we think about using AI to do things that we’ve always done, just a little bit better, a little bit faster, a little bit cheaper,” Dan Linna said. “But we need to change our mindset to think about how we can use AI to transform the things that we do.”
Finally, It’s Time to Party
After the final breakout sessions, it was finally time to conclude our ediscovery conference with Nextfest, a street fest-themed 20th anniversary bash. With custom Nextpoint cocktails, a live blues band, games like cornhole and giant jenga, plus craft beer and whiskey, our Nextians, friends and clients partied into the night.
Want to Relive the Magic?
All the recorded On Point sessions are just a click away. Click here to watch them.
Of course, that doesn’t quite make up for all the fun of attending an ediscovery conference in person and networking with so many skilled legal professionals. If you missed On Point this year, be sure to look out for next year’s registration and make plans to head to Chicago.