Q&A: Collin Miller Discusses Advances in Data Enrichment and Behavioral Analytics
An experienced solutions architect in the investigations and e-discovery arena, Collin Miller recently joined FTI Technology as a Managing Director. He supports internal teams and clients in finding and developing custom, cost effective, timely technology solutions for large-scale matters involving emerging data sources. We spoke about his new role and his vision for how analytics will impact the future of e-discovery, investigations, compliance and more.
Collin, you’ve been in the e-discovery industry for roughly 10 years. Can you talk about the highlights of your background?
My career to date has focused on solution development across two areas that are closely intertwined: e-discovery and compliance. In a previous role, I was Director of Riskcovery Services, where I was responsible for developmental oversight for Advanced Discovery’s Riskcovery® software and managed custom implementation of analytics-driven, early engagement solutions for corporations facing complex compliance issues and state or federal investigations. Most recently, I was VP of Innovation and Product Management at Consilio, where I oversaw software design and consulting for discovery and compliance use cases. Throughout my various roles and client engagements, I gained significant experience with leveraging front-end conceptual analytics in large-scale collection and analysis efforts, with a focus on simultaneously maintaining defensibility and preventing over-inclusion.
Given that most organizations are continuing to grapple with data volumes and complexity in discovery and compliance, will your focus remain in these areas in your new role at FTI Technology?
Yes, but with an increasing emphasis on addressing emerging data sources. This will include developing and implementing solutions and workflows upstream to avoid downstream pain points. One way we do this is by addressing the various data formats in play early on in a matter, and extracting the data in a way that is compatible with analytics tools and discovery platforms. For example, data from a chat application can’t be approached in the same way as emails or documents in discovery. Individual messages are disparate and interspersed with irrelevant conversation threads, and therefore must be grouped in a logical way before they can be analyzed and reviewed for fact finding. I’m very interested in differentiating the overall approach to discovery to focus on enriching data so it can be understood before it is processed. I’m looking forward to building up our team’s expertise and offerings in this area.
What technology advancements are you most excited about right now?
I think the advances taking place in AI, behavioral analytics and data enrichment are all very exciting. For example, once data from emerging sources is organized in a useful and logical way in e-discovery workflows, it can be leveraged to train other, related analytic models. This is where the compliance piece can come in too—data enriched for e-discovery purposes can support a feedback loop that optimizes the use of behavioral analytics to monitor for certain topics and language groupings proactively to uncover potential compliance violations, unknown risks or unethical behavior. The possibilities for advanced analytics are endless and will bring significant improvements to early case assessment, proactive compliance monitoring, responding to matters with massive amounts of data and more.
I also see a lot of opportunity for AI to provide a constant feedback loop in document review. Within the next five to 10 years, I think the e-discovery industry will make strides in culling datasets down to only the hot documents in the early case assessment phase, using assisted intelligence—AI that is based on accrued human decisions over time and across broad sources of information. Essentially, we’ll be applying the Watson approach to e-discovery.
So, when you’re not exploring the future of AI and analytics, what fills your time outside of work?
I’m a family man. When I first started in this industry, it was at an e-discovery and investigations company my dad founded, which we eventually sold to Advanced Discovery. I have children of my own now, and I often find myself taking lessons learned in parenting and applying them to problem solving and leadership at work.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.