In the first segment of this two-part Project Manager Spotlight, HAYSTACKID’s Vinh Huynh discussed his past as a student and professional, as well as how he arrived at his current position. Now, he takes us through some of the technological trends he is watching blossom, as well as what it’s like to be a Project Manager at HAYSTACKID.
Let’s talk more about the technology side of things for a moment, especially since you have seen so many trends come to fruition. Are you diving into the technology-assisted review, machine learning, and analytics elements today?
Oh, absolutely, especially the unique and wide-reaching Relativity tools. I’ve tried to devote a lot of my spare time to learning those. I’m also studying to take the analytics exam.
The analytics side of matters really is fascinating, isn’t it?
Yes, I mean like I said before, organizations don’t want to pay all that money to review a document when they could get just as good of results for far cheaper with the right technology and more creative techniques. I also mentioned that I really enjoy using my head to create workflows and processes that will simply make people’s lives easier and organizations more successful.
Analytics, machine learning, and technology-assisted review are only going to become more essential to discovery, litigation, and other elements of our industry, so it is vital to focus on them today.
Do you think that machine learning is going to be a reality in eDiscovery by, let’s say, 2020?
Absolutely. I know, for example, there was some initial hesitation surrounding technology-assisted reviews, especially on behalf of the courts. But more and more courts are now accepting it, and I think that sometime in the near future it’s just going to be completely normal.
Each day, exponentially higher volumes of data are being created. I remember when I first started sending emails, I would be lucky if I got three or four emails a day. Now, I get three or four emails every 10 minutes, at least. You think about that at scale – in a large organization, or even nationally and internationally – and it becomes clear that soon enough, it’s going to be impossible to do things the old way.
For this reason and many more, machine learning is an inevitable force in eDiscovery and relevant litigation procedures.
So do you think things like automation, technology-assisted review, and machine learning are really going to define eDiscovery’s evolution in the next few years?
Of course, but there is one other trend worth mentioning. No matter what, every case is unique, every process comes with different implications, each organization handles data management in its own fashion, and there is simply a ton of variance at all times and in all things eDiscovery. I don’t think that companies will excel, really, unless they find a way to standardize their workflows.
So, while yes, I believe the technical side – notably the mainstreaming of these incredibly futuristic tools and technologies – will be a big story, there is also this challenge of keeping everything consistent from the perspective of workflows, processes, and management.
I know that some firms are already starting to use standard review workflows for all their litigation, but I also know that the industry as a whole has a long road to travel in this regard.
Think of it this way: A lot of analysts and experts will always say that an organization’s success is dependent upon people, process, and technology. So now the training and education is there, meaning the people are more prepared, and the technology is not only available but somewhat commoditized.
That leaves the process side of things as a key point of focus. If you do not standardize your workflows and processes, it might not be so easy to really capitalize on these technologies.
I mean, seriously, every project that comes across my desk is unique. I could not say that there is any common type of project, even. Lots of different matters, lots of unique stuff coming through. But at the same time, there must be a baseline or guiding, underlying consistency.
So, I think it will be very interesting to both watch and be a part of this big push to create more consistency in review and litigation – to standardize everything in a way that still manages each unique project properly.
Those insights are very much appreciated, Vinh. So, are you happy at HAYSTACKID?
Yes. Absolutely. I think my favorite part of working at HAYSTACKID is really how flexible and adaptable we are. No project is the same, and we’re not afraid to approach things in a new, unique manner to get the job done efficiently, accurately, and affordably.
There’s no entirely perfect way to do anything, and the fact that we are really given the freedom and confidence to think outside of the box and adapt, I really like that a lot.
Do you work completely autonomously, or in a team?
A little bit of both, but I would say more as a team, actually. The way our company is currently set up, we all talk to one another, doesn’t matter where someone is located, we always have a video conference open, we are always phoning and talking to one another. There’s definitely a lot of interactions between everyone.
I always have a conference call going, and I feel as though it’s very helpful just to bounce ideas or even tell a joke to keep morale up. Sometimes in this job, you’re working long hours, and if you like the people you’re working with, it makes things a lot better and more fulfilling. I really like who I work for and who I work with, but the collaboration is not just enjoyable – it is what makes this a special, successful company.
Thank you again for your time Vinh, and Godspeed.
Thank you as well!
Vinh has traversed an incredible path to get to this point in his career, and we could not be happier to have him on the HAYSTACKID team. Come back soon for more Project Manager Spotlights to get insights from our knowledgeable staff!