Case Studies

Search Term Optimization Delivers $4 Million Savings

Company Profile

A Fortune 200 domestic pharmaceutical company and a Fortune Global 250 international pharmaceutical company, with combined annual revenues of more than $49 billion.

Matter Summary

High-profile litigation involving large volumes of proprietary data that must be reviewed against tight deadlines and high expectations for quality.

Services Utilized
  • FindForward™ Analytics


Our clients faced potentially expensive, disproportionate review costs, and needed a defensible way to reduce the volume of review populations. Specifically:

  • Plaintiff-provided terms returned an unnecessarily large volume of irrelevant documents, resulting in inefficient culling and driving high review costs.
  • Overwhelming amounts of data were collected, exceeding 20 million documents, with more than 7 million containing plaintiff’s search terms.


We implemented DiscoverReady Respond and FindForward™ Analytics to increase the precision of culling while maintaining a high level of recall. This included:

  • Statistical analysis of keyword search terms, encompassing sampling, assessment, and optimization of terms.
  • A standardized, defensible process to create statistically defensible samples and infer characteristics of a large data set, streamlining and reducing manual review of documents.
  • Documentation detailing the case-specific process and findings aiding during the negotiation and meet-and-confer process.


  • Returned $4 million in savings from a $40,000 investment in optimization and validation.
  • Reduced volume of documents requiring human intervention by 60%.
  • Doubled precision and maintained a recall rate of 97%.
  • Used file type and social networking analysis to further reduce non-responsive documents from review.