Defensibly Reducing Review Volume through Statistical Search Term Optimization

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A Fortune 20 international financial services company with annual revenue of more than $85 billion.


Frequent, high-profile litigation and regulatory matters involving large volumes of extremely sensitive data that must be reviewed against tight deadlines and high expectations of quality.


  • Technology Services
  • Consulting Services
  • FindForward™ Analytics


Our client was seeking to reduce costs by defensibly minimizing the volume of documents for review, while ensuring a high level of responsiveness and security. Specific challenges included:

  • A large and unnecessary volume of irrelevant documents being reviewed due to inefficient culling, driving high review costs.
  • Massive amounts of data were collected with low richness/prevalence of likely relevant documents, exceeding 5 million documents.
  • Sensitive documents were at risk of inadvertent disclosure and security failures.


Our Technology and Consulting Services teams leveraged FindForward™ Analytics to enable:

  • 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 5 million documents.
  • A secure review environment, including biometric access control and other state-of-the-art physical and virtual security measures.


  • Returned $660,000 in savings from an $18,000 investment in optimization and validation.
  • Reduced volume of documents requiring human review by 75%.
  • Improved precision by more than 50% and maintained a recall rate of ~93%.
  • Eliminated risks and potential exposure via physical and logical security of proprietary and sensitive data.

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