Hi. I’m Bobby. We have not met yet.
If we were to meet, you would gather data and make judgments within seconds of our introduction. You might not intend to, but you’re creating a mental image. This mental image, like a snapshot, would start to tell a story. But that’s not the whole story. Psychologists call this the first impression.
Despite what information you gather later, that first story you’ve created influences future decisions. Additional variables, like our experiences and biases, can impact first impressions as well – with an analytical strategy, we can tell the story as its meant to be told. Your data is like a book. It’s better understood when it’s strategically assessed, not skimmed.
The First Impression
When I first review data for iDS, I get an impression. There is content, metadata, and often a narrative about what happened. My training and experience influence a chain of custody and procedure, but with all this insight, I still have to look deeper. I access the full scope of information. Then I ask myself if there are patterns in the story the data is telling me. What about anomalies? If a data set looks perfect on the surface, what would a closer look at that data tell me?
At iDS, we understand how the law utilizes cutting-edge technology in data forensics. In my research process, I sometimes find details in the data that give a positive first impression, only to discover that those details are inconsistent with the data’s true narrative. Sometimes, those details are intentionally altered to create that positive impression.
If I stop at that apparently perfect first glance or make judgment calls based outside of iDS’ structured expertise, I may never learn the full truth of what happened with the data.
As a logical but creative thinker, it’s my responsibility at iDS to identify problems and define solutions to complex issues. Digital forensics requires us to observe every facet of the narrative to define the outcome.
The Narrative Within the Data
When I receive or collect data, I take a quick look to take my first steps. The data should open the door to more information. The goal is to collect data that creates a timeline that may have previously been harder to define. This journey helps uncover the narrative within the data, which will help me and the iDS team tell the most accurate story with optimized outcomes.
With both new people and new cases, I remind myself that a first impression is exactly that. The term indicates there is more to come, so I’m committed to finding more events to learn and understand. If the story reveals truth and clarity, I know my last impression will be much more comprehensive than my first.
iDiscovery Solutions is a strategic consulting, technology, and expert services firm – providing customized eDiscovery solutions from digital forensics to expert testimony for law firms and corporations across the United States and Europe.