Well we are at the end of the first week of the New Year and for many people resolutions are starting to fall by the wayside. Complex reasons for not making it to the gym 4 to 5 times a week are being developed and it looks like learning Spanish will have to wait another year.

However, one resolution that you should consider keeping or making for the New Year is to create an organizational ESI Data Map. I have talked about the importance of data maps several times over the last year and it worth thinking about for the New Year.

There are questions about exactly what an ESI Data Map should and should not cover. According to the Ingersoll Group “an ESI Data Map is a comprehensive and defensible inventory of  an organization’s IT systems that store information—electronically stored information or ESI—which may be relevant to litigation, regulatory proceedings, government investigations, or audits.” So, this is different from an organization’s IT Map, which includes how IT infrastructure is connected and networked throughout an organization. So, an ESI Data Map does not have to include symbols like lightning bolts and clouds.

Instead, many times an ESI Data Map will be in the form of a spreadsheet or something similar. Basically, it is a catalog of a company’s ESI Data. There is no set format that an ESI Data Map has to be in and there no set types of ESI Data. However, there does seem to be three types that are more often used.

These are:

Static Maps: Used for smaller companies and are normally manually done and updated either monthly or yearly. These are for companies that do not deal with discovery on a regular bias.

Dynamic Maps – Are used for larger companies with a more mature infrastructure. These dynamic maps interface with current infrastructure to  update automatically. These are used by companies with  a higher discovery profile.

Hybrids – Are just like they sound. They are a mesh between a static map and a dynamic map. They are normally created manually but built on  light weight databases that can be updated more quickly than a static map.

Which type of ESI Data Map you choose depends on your company’s individual needs, size, industry, regulatory requirements and business processes. So, give it a little thought. It is resolution that can provide big benefits throughout the New Year and beyond.

Miller Montague
http://www.answermavensolutions.com