June 30, 2021

The benefits of Relativity Collect

In his latest technical review blog, James Merritt runs the rule over Relativity Collect and the benefits it offers those looking for quality data collection options

Relativity has built a reputation for being the world’s best document review platform, which I explored in this post. Alongside this product there are several other noteworthy products, such as Trace, Processing and Collect. In this post I will explore Relativity Collect and the benefits this product has. Having recently explored other options for cloud collections it is a good time to put Collect under the microscope and see how it fares.

Collect in its current form is limited to:

• Microsoft 365:

o OneDrive

o Outlook Calendar

o Outlook Contacts

o Outlook Mailbox

• Slack

• X1 Emails

• X1 Files

For Relativity Collect to work there needs to be some server-side work carried out by an admin of the Microsoft 365 tenant that you are looking to collect from.

This video shows what’s required by the admin of the Microsoft 365 tenant for Relativity Collect to successfully retrieve data from the environment.

Once the Relativity admin has the application ID and the secret value this can be plugged into the data source information for Collect:

I am sure it is deliberate, but you are only able to select one source at a time, which means you must select each of the Microsoft 365 sources separately and plot in the three pieces of information:

• Domain

• Application ID

• Application Secret

It would be cleaner if this could be done in one go. This is the same for X1’s connector too, you have to select each one separately and then add the same criteria twice.

To collect from Slack the organisation needs to have an enterprise license. The requisites are shown in this video.

Relativity allows you to group together different collection sources for the same case by using a named matter.  

Before you begin collecting the data Relativity requires you to configure the custodian(s) that you are collecting. If you have been provided with a list of users and their email addresses you will need to enter the custodian entity once but will have to enter a custodian target for each data source type.  You can run through the process here.

Like when adding the data sources, it is quite tiresome that you cannot group together a collection from Microsoft 365 in one custodian target and so you must repeat the step four times per custodian. This is the same for an X1 collection, repeat the step for X1 Emails and X1 Files.

To collect you fill out the below form making sure that you enter a name, select a collection matter and choose the processing source location. There are additional fields that can be completed such as zipping the collection data, adding a password to that zip file, entering a job number and description. As with all RelativityOne automated functions you can set up notifications for when the collection is complete.

This is the first time in the collect process that you can select more than one data source: here you can select all of the sources that have been added in to Collect.

The next step is to select the custodians that you want to collect data for. When you work through the data sources section you have the option to limit the collection to make it targeted, for example, by date range. This is all mandatory except for the Office365 Calendar where there is a collection limit of five years, and this must be entered. The Office365 Contacts do not have any criteria to reduce data by. Once all the data sources have had the collection criteria entered you need to generate the targets so that the collection can actually begin.

In typical Relativity fashion the user interface is built with the user in mind and is very simple to use. Now that all the details have been plugged in and the data sources have been selected it’s a matter of clicking “Start Collection” and waiting for the email to confirm the collection has completed.

All in all, this product from Relativity is very good. The data is pulled back to your staging explorer so that you can either ingest into your workspace or download from your staging explorer and utilise somewhere else. This is particularly interesting for opportunities that just require collections.

Having access to this tool is in some ways a game changer, and I am looking forward to more connectors being added and Relativity Collect will compete with some of the best cloud forensic tools currently available. The added advantage for Relativity Collect is that it is part of an eco-system - so long as the end goal of the data is to be ingested and loaded into Relativity Review it is a no brainer!

The purpose of this post was to outline the benefits of Relativity Collect and below I have listed the key ones:

• Direct connectors to Microsoft 365 tenants, Slack and X1

• Collected data can be used outside of Relativity Review

• Collected data collected directly to Relativity staging explorer for easy ingestion into Relativity Review

• Easy to use interface

Once you get past the nuances of repeating steps when setting up the multiple sources it is a very good tool. Collect will be significantly improved as more connectors are added. Currently, the next connectors that will be available will be to collect from Google Workspace (Google Chat, Gmail, Google Drive and Google Groups) and Microsoft Teams. This will be a game changer for my team: being able to collect into the location where you need to process from eliminates steps and will improve the speed in which we are able to deliver documents for review, which is always a very big positive!

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