How to access the new E5 Advanced eDiscovery (aka Equivio Analytics) (Part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation post from a 2 part series on accessing the new ‘Advanced eDiscovery’  (from an acquisition of a company called ‘Equivio’), now included in the Microsoft Office 365 “E5” SKU. To read part 1, click this link (here).

After waiting approximately 24 hours for my access to the Advanced eDiscovery center to be granted, I was able to access Equivio from the Office 365 Compliance Center.

The compliance center offers three choices for searching content. A fourth location to search content is the eDiscovery search within the Exchange Online admin center. Microsoft is investing heavily into the Compliance Search capability and so customers should be keeping an eye on that over the next 12 months, while recognizing that some of the needed functionality remains in the SharePoint eDiscovery Center and Exchange eDiscovery Center.

1. SharePoint eDiscovery Center

2. Compliance Search

3. Equivio Analytics (aka Advanced eDiscovery)

4. Exchange eDiscovery Search (not directly accessible from the Compliance Center)

5. Protection Center (This is in Beta now, and will eventually replace the Compliance Center).


Compliance Search is useful for quick search results across Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive and O365 Groups. At the time of this writing, export is limited to single items. Bulk export from Compliance Search is on the roadmap. Until then,  the other three options include bulk export.

Note: The export option in these tools have separate export formats, so depending on your export need, that may determine which search tool you select. For example, the Exchange eDiscovery search will export to .PST, whereas the SharePoint eDiscovery will export to the Electronic Discovery Reference Model standard.

TIP: The first time you use the SharePoint eDiscovery Center, you will need to add a connector to Exchange Online before you can search mailboxes. For guidance on the SharePoint eDiscovery Center see this TechNet Article (here).

TIP: There is no PowerShell option (yet) to export a mailbox to PST. The work-around is to use the Exchange eDiscovery search without keywords so that the entire mailbox is returned in the search results, then select the option to export to PST. So my advice is to use the Exchange eDiscovery search if you only need to search email, otherwise use the SharePoint eDiscovery center if you need to search SharePoint/OneDrive & Email.  image


Ok.. so getting back to Equivio Analytics aka Advanced eDiscovery.

First, you need to make sure you are an eDiscovery Administrator. This is a member of the eDiscovery Manager role group but there is a new checkbox that only appears when you add new users to it. If you were previously a member, you now need to remove yourself and re-add yourself back in to see the new checkbox, otherwise you will receive an access denied error message when trying to browse to Equivio Analytics the first time.




Once you have access, you can click on the eDiscovery menu and then ‘Go to Equivio Analytics’


In order to get data into Equivio, you first need to start with a Compliance Search in the Compliance Center and then you can export search results to Equivio. This diagram shows the workflow:




After performing a search I see the option to export the results to Equivio


The first time I tried this, I was prompted for my email address and was notified that I would be emailed when it was ready for me. After waiting 45 minutes, I received an email from [email protected]  “Sorry, but the results for compliance search Compliance Search didn’t export to Equivio.”

That’s it – nothing to work from. So I returned to Equivio and created a blank case.


I then repeated the export and this time it succeeded. However, when I tried to create a second search and have it go to a separate case, it inserted the new search results into the same case in Equivio.


There doesn’t appear to be a way to tell the Compliance Center that you want to insert the new search results into a separate case in Equivio.  I imagine they are working hard to iron out the integration, since this was an acquisition

With the case highlighted the next step is to click on ‘Go to case’ in the bottom right


From there, you follow the bread crumb trail to Prepare > Process > and Analyze the data before moving on to Relevance and Export.


At this point there is no working help menu within the application.


Fortunately, there is guidance for Advanced eDiscovery on TechNet here:

Despite the rough edges of getting into this tool,  this tool could save an organization thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees during a discovery by reducing the total number of documents that truly need to be considered relevant for a case. I am confident that Microsoft will improve the integration and the user interface in the next year.


  • Reduced costs. Reviewers are directed to what’s important – i.e., to documents that contain unique information, and to the unique information within each document. Proven in hundreds of cases, Equivio’s technology consistently reduces review and handling costs by 30 to 50%.
  • Less time. In many situations, it’s impossible to review all the documents in the given time window. Equivio enables prioritized review by zooming in on value-added, unique data.
  • Less risk. By directing reviewers to the unique documents, and to the unique data in those documents, Equivio reduces the risk of missing critical information.
  • Consistent treatment. The Equivio groupings allow reviews to apply tags across a near-duplicate set or email thread to ensure very similar documents are treated consistently. The need for consistency applies throughout the data cycle, from the feed of documents into the retention archive, through the implementation of storage policies, and the treatment of documents in a specific litigation or regulatory event.
  • Accessing the data users need. By allowing the virtual suppression of redundant data, Equivio helps users cut directly to the information they need.” Reference

Note: Last week, Microsoft announced (here) that you can now export data out of Equivio and make it available for 3rd party discovery applications. This is helpful if you made a large investment in other tools and you are looking to integrate with a previous investment.

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