Seddons started working towards GDPR compliance in early 2017. The firm’s IT Director James Temple established clear compliance goals based on data security and searchability. The firm knew that to achieve their goals, they needed to uncover ‘dark data’ – non-searchable image-based files like scanned PDFs and TIFFs. Here is how they did it.
Phase one: Identify the problem
Seddons partnered with an outside consultant in early 2017 to work towards GDPR compliance. As part of the project, Seddons performed a data mapping exercise to pinpoint where dark data was stored. The data map shone a light on many non-searchable files, including image and graphics files like PDFs and JPGs. This was the moment the firm realized it needed an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) solution that would monitor the creation of dark data and convert those files to text-searchable PDFs.
Phase two: Know what you need
Seddons decided that the OCR solution that would work best for them was one that would not create any additional work for staff. Instead, it would run continuously in the background, sifting through documents and assessing them for conversion to text-searchable PDFs.
For their OCR solution to have the maximum effect, it had to integrate with Seddons’ existing systems. Bulk processing of files could happen in the back-end of their Proclaim from Eclipse case management system and documents would then be indexed so they would display in relevant searches.
Seddons also needed OCR processing to handle many file formats including image files and PST files one level deep to include email attachments.
Phase three: Future proof the solution
To prevent GDPR compliance from becoming a burden to productivity, any OCR solution the firm chose had to be easy to set up and maintain. Seddons found the best way to work with an OCR framework was to schedule it to work in batches, rather than all at once. Turning on OCR in the back-end, so that processing happens in Proclaim rather than at an individual desktop level, means staff aren’t required to do anything to prevent the creation of dark data. It all happens behind the scenes.
Having chosen an OCR solution that met the brief, Seddons is armed with the solution it needs to comply with the GDPR requirements for data searchability.
Continue reading about the process of finding and deploying solutions that would support Seddons’ GDPR compliance goals – including for metadata management – here.
Melody has more than 15 years' experience in marketing products and services to the legal industry. She spearheads marketing efforts in the EMEA region for DocsCorp, and can be spotted behind the booth at events and conferences across the region. When not working from the London office, Melody enjoys travelling and spending quality time with her family.