Here are the Results of EDRM’s Data Mapping Survey: Information Governance Trends

Remember when I told you back in October that EDRM needed help regarding its data mapping survey?  Well, that survey is now complete and here are the results!

As Rachel McAdams (co-leader of the EDRM Data Mapping project) notes in this Survey Summary, “[d]ata mapping can be a wide-ranging subject, with stakeholders from IT to Records, Legal and many other departments within an organization. The goal of the survey was to establish how often our community engages with data mapping, and where the gaps in available resources might be.”

So, what were the results?  Here are a few highlights:

  • Over half of the respondents were from Law Firms, with about a quarter of respondents from Corporations;
  • Over half of all respondents were involved in Litigation, which isn’t much of a surprise for the audience of the survey, with Data Protection as the next discreet area in second at just over 10% (Information Governance and Records Management were listed under “Other” as the second most selected category at over 20%);
  • The good news is that over half (52%) of respondents said their organization has an active strategy for data mapping, and overall, it was on the radar for another 36% of respondents!  Only 12% of respondents’ organizations weren’t currently considering a data mapping initiative;
  • The most frequent reasons for carrying out data mapping are information governance (77%) and litigation (42%).  A later survey question also asked whether you undergo data mapping before data collection and the response was 77% Yes;
  • However, although 77% of respondents always undertake a data mapping exercise before collection, a similar proportion (75%) have not developed any data mapping precedents;
  • In terms of resources that would be of most use to help with data mapping, the top three choices were Guide to practical issues and questions to ask (78.57%), Guide to best practice steps to take (71.43%) and Standard documents – organization facing e.g., to data map an organization (64.29%).

Here’s a link to the results.  Not surprisingly, there still appears to be a need for resources and guidance on how to carry out data mapping – and this is from a group of respondents that have probably given a bit of thought to data mapping.  Imagine how the general legal community feels about it!

I’ve been a big proponent of data mapping over the years and wrote about it several times early in my blogging days.  Last year, I revisited that topic recently on the Ipro bloghere and here.

So, what do you think?  Does your organization have a program for data mapping?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.



  1. A quick question: Are many organizations undertaking a “dual” mapping exercise? That is, data mapping for IT purposes to map systems and infrastructure, and a discrete or separate ‘content mapping’ for RIM and eDiscovery purposes? Or are these combined into one document? I see the benefits of both approaches, and encourage strong interactions among all disciplines no matter how they “map”..

    Aaron Taylor

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