The year ahead promises a lot of challenges for those who work with sensitive information.
My team and I were careful to monitor not just our industry news last year, but we also felt that it was essential to speak directly to other people in the field about what was happening in their day-to-day work-life. It didn't take much digging to uncover that more changes than working location were happening.
Learn From 2020
Even during a pandemic, we've seen litigation matters continue at a steady clip. What's more, we've seen new compliance tasks emerge. From Milyli's sample of Blackout customers, our Customer Advocacy team assisted in a broader variety of workflows in 2020 than any year prior.
That makes sense for a growing user base; however, it was the diversity of the tasks that I found exciting and essential to note. For example, not only did we help build workflows to help redact PHI in COVID-related matters, but we also saw emerging redaction workflows around employee hiring and internal investigations.
With a very intense and informative year behind us, I'm excited to say the next 3-6 months will be some of the most exciting for Blackout in a very long time!
Deliver Facilitators, Not Features
First, and most importantly, we will introduce functionality aimed at simplifying the reviewer experience.
By strengthening the tools at the reviewer's disposal, we must also introduce new ways for reviewers to explore their documents.
For example, giving users an ability to find and redact words and phrases will allow for much broader, more thorough, and rapid application of markups on Excel documents. Find and redact won't be the only way we improve the speed at which reviewers can move through documents. To further eliminate time from your redaction work, we'll add functionality for redacting columns, rows, and cell ranges.
Actualize The Best Ideas (Your Customer Feedback)
We're excited to deliver on two frequently requested features early this year.
1. RegEx Data-Bank
2. Character Redactions for Images
Blackout case administrators will be able to take advantage of a new centralized regular expression data-bank. This addition simplifies the use of common expressions across projects and cases.
Users will finally have the ability to partially redact matches at the character level on image projects. The most common example of this is redacting just the username or domain portion of emails with just a few clicks.
We are also improving the way preset text redactions are selected while also including new text redaction styles. This will ensure case requirements are met swiftly and accurately.
We're Keeping the Door Open
The year 2020 taught many of us to appreciate and promote open, transparent communication so we could engage and connect in new ways.
So as eDiscovery evolves in 2021, we want to make sure we repeat our biggest win of the year: maintaining an open channel to the people using our software and doing the work we want to make easier.
Addressing different needs globally for GDPR, the Australia Privacy Principles, or domestically for the California Consumer Privacy Act, is essential. However, we can't make solutions for those things without staying plugged into our user base. We collect surveys but have found the best information comes from connecting directly.
With that in mind, we'd love to hear from you if you have thoughts, feedback, or interest in learning more about the future of Blackout. I can be reached anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.