A Day in the Life: Poppy Coy, Operational Analyst at Luminance

17 July 2019 | Poppy Coy

I joined Luminance as an Operational Analyst, having previously worked on large-scale eDiscovery cases for criminal and civil litigation both in the UK and US. At the time, Luminance was (and still is) a market-leading legal AI company with an extensive customer-base using the technology for M&A due diligence. A number of customers had unexpectedly begun using the technology to carry out investigations and this inspired the launch of Luminance Discovery. A year on and Discovery is now being used around the globe on cases from several hundred to tens of millions of documents. The Luminance Discovery operations team serve a number of functions in supporting our customers with their time sensitive projects and a typical day looks like this:


I’m looking through emails and messages that have come through overnight. Luminance operates globally, and our team provide round the clock support which is especially important in eDiscovery cases where the deadlines are tight and the stakes are high. I get a call from one of our Discovery sales team to say they’ve received a call about an urgent case in Asia. I give all the necessary team-members a heads up that a new customer may begin using Discovery today.


I sit down at my desk, which is nestled amongst our team of technical specialists, and catch up with the Discovery team. The potential customer has shared some details about the scope of their urgent project, which is around 300gb consisting mostly of emails. The firm are awaiting confirmation from their client as to where they would like the data hosted, so I give our contact a call to discuss the various hosting options and locations available. I then sit down and brief the technical team on the potential case specifications.


I check in with a firm in Europe whose competition case started last week to see if they need any help or training. The client requests training for their opposing counsel, who will be reviewing the documents in Luminance from within the firm’s offices. I arrange a time for the training later in the week and my colleague organises a flight to provide the training on-site.


The customer in Asia confirms their preferred Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting location and I request a new environment from our technical team. Using AWS means new customers can get started on a case within hours with no set-up required on the client’s part, and for existing customers projects can be set up in seconds. I call the client to discuss upload options and arrange a time for a call to help them upload the data once the environment is ready. It’s starting to get late in Asia, but the project is urgent, and I know the lawyers won’t be going home tonight.


I take a coffee over to our Senior Software Developer for Discovery as an opportunity to chat about product and feature development. We are just a few weeks away from a new version release, so the team are busy with exciting optimisations and new functionality. At the moment, we are looking at the UI aspect of Luminance’s advanced machine learning functionality called ‘Deep Coding’. This is the part of Luminance Discovery which allows the technology to learn from the lawyer’s coding, helping to prioritise relevant documents. Today we are focusing on the development of the interactive visual tools within Deep Coding.


I check in with our Head of Discovery to discuss our high-activity customers, as well as current project goals and to share case updates and customer production timelines. I update her on the progress of the product developments and gather some feedback she has received from customer meetings which I can then feed back to our developer team.


It’s the first sunny day in weeks, so I grab my lunch and head up to the roof terrace in our Cambridge office. My colleague sent me an article on data and search sampling in eDiscovery, so I relax a little with some ‘light-reading’. One of my favourite aspects of working within my role is that there is constantly new technology and sources of data, and always something new to learn and to keep me challenged.


Our technical operations team has been able to complete the set-up of the system environment for the new customer in Asia. The lawyers are working through the night on this case, so I give my contact a call and walk them through the process of uploading the documents via a sync source. The customer is able to instantly begin uploading their documents, which will automatically begin ingestion into Luminance and undergo email threading and deduplication. The Discovery team monitors new data uploads round-the-clock, so I reassure the customer that the process will be running smoothly overnight.


I receive a query from a customer that is nearing the end of their review and preparing to produce their data to the court. There are strict data production guidelines set out by their national governing body and a tight production deadline, so I give them a call to discuss the exact specifications and to ensure that they are able to run their productions this afternoon. Luminance’s production creator is fully configurable, so it is just a case of confirming which options the customer should apply in order to ensure their compliance with the standards. The team are able to generate the productions within around half an hour, in plenty of time for their court deadline.


I sit down with a hot drink and dial-in to our monthly Discovery meeting. The team is spread across three offices – Cambridge, London and New York – so it’s great to set aside some time to catch up and talk about all of the successes and milestones we’ve hit as a team in the past weeks. It’s also a perfect opportunity to talk about our collective aims for the coming month and to share any updates from the tech or customer-facing teams.


I check in with our upload and ingestion team and ensure that the upload from the new customer is running as expected. I know that due to the urgency of the case, the lawyers in Asia will be feeling pressured, so I send a brief email to update them that all is well.


I answer a few emails from my colleagues in the Discovery sales team. Often potential customers enquire about certain product features, functionality and technical or security requirements. I decide after having received a few questions around whether Luminance supports chat exports (such as WhatsApp) to load a couple of examples of the data into our demonstration site, so that the sales team can show potential customers in real-time.


I catch up with our Senior Developer and Head of Discovery with an end-of-day update. As there is a new software version being released imminently, advancements and upgrades are happening very quickly, so it’s helpful to recap regularly and ensure priorities are aligned and that there are no issues outstanding.


I head home for the evening, usually whilst having a catch-up call with my colleagues in the US who have just started their day. The whole team is very excited about the new version release, so I briefly recap on today’s advancements and the plan for the rest of the week.


I settle down for the evening, not too far from my mobile or computer in case our overnight support team should need to escalate any urgent queries or cases to me overnight. We have customers around the globe, so it’s important to be reachable, however we are fortunate to have an incredible support team providing round-the-clock help which means we never have to worry about an email or phone call going unanswered.