ActiveNav (formerly Active Navigation founded 2008) is a cloud-based solution that inventories your on-prem/cloud data stores to an actionable dashboard and automated workflows. It is being offered at  relatively low subscription rates directly from ActiveNav or bundled into a managed service package with one of their partners. Branded as Data Mapping as a Service (DMaaS), ActiveNav’s primary differentiator from offerings like Exterro’s Data Source Discovery is their cloud based hybrid collector infrastructure. Most enterprise content management solutions require substantial infrastructure investments and software installed on every data source/system. ActiveNav just needs a service account to start collecting and analyzing your data stores. I focused our time on the ACTIVE-Inventory functionality rather than their solution packages that focused on pain points like ROT elimination, data privacy, compliance monitoring, etc.

Over the years I have come to dread data mapping engagements. I love exploring and building a picture of a client’s ESI repositories, but getting the server list, hardware inventory, AD export and other components is always a fight and never up to date. Without an affordable automated inventory or data map tool I am frequently forced to create annual snapshots in SharePoint tables, custom web apps or even the dreaded Excel spreadsheets (last resort). A comprehensive data map is a key requirement for a mature corporate eDiscovery lifecycle. How else can you consistently and completely respond to interrogatories and discovery requests?

The ActiveNav platform has default categories, rule packs and activities (index, copy, deleteDups, quarantine, markup, etc.). Their signature ‘Health Score’ smart analytic is a customized aggregate score based on your particular usage case. For example, the screenshots below shows health scores per location based on different category facets around the ROT and compliance usage cases.

ActiveNav Health Score Dashboards

ActiveNav has been in the eDiscovery market for some time with their previous Discovery Center on-premise platform. Their various cloud solutions are relatively new offerings with impressive government and corporate early customers. My experience implementing competitor categorization systems has been mixed. Most require a significant customer and consulting investment to define the goals, data/rule parameters and initial categories to achieve real and lasting value. ActiveNav’s and Exterro’s automatic inventory address one of Legal’s ongoing pain points. Leveraging the harvested metadata for actionable categorization requires dedicated resources, workflow and skills. The good news is that the tools keep gaining functionality and usability. I am always looking for success stories and love to hear about new analytic solutions or usage cases.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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