Differentiating Between ECA

Differentiating Between ECA and EDA and Redefining the “E”: eDiscovery Best Practices

My latest blog post for IPRO’s blog discusses how many people in eDiscovery have difficulty differentiating between ECA and EDA and easily swap the terms. It’s a pet peeve for me and others.

A typical post about this topic would focus on the differences between the “C” in Early Case Assessment (ECA) and the “D” in Early Data Assessment (EDA). It’s important to understand those differences because ECA and EDA are different.

But perhaps even more important to understand is how the “E” has evolved over the years, because “early” is now earlier than ever. If you’re conducting eDiscovery the old way, you may not be early enough.


Differentiating ECA and EDA starts with defining both terms. I could do it, but there’s a terrific resource that does it already – The Sedona Conference Glossary, eDiscovery & Digital Information Management, Fifth Edition, which has nearly 800 definitions and is available for download here (login required, which is free). Here is how The Sedona Conference Glossary defines these two terms:

  • Early Case Assessment (ECA): The process of assessing the merits of a case early in the litigation lifecycle to determine its viability. The process may or may not include the collection, analysis, and review of data.
  • Early Data Assessment (EDA): The process of separating possibly relevant electronically stored information from nonrelevant electronically stored information using both computer techniques, such as date filtering or advanced analytics, and human-assisted logical determinations at the beginning of a case. This process may be used to reduce the volume of data collected for processing and review.

Defining the terms is only the beginning toward differentiating between ECA and EDA. And it’s not even the most important point in the post!

So, how are ECA and EDA different? How has the “E” evolved over the years? And why (once again) is there a picture of Yogi Berra on this post? You can find out on IPRO’s blog here. It’s just one extra click!  😉

So, what do you think? Do you have trouble differentiating between ECA and EDA? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.


Disclosure: IPRO is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

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.

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