Unstructured Data Is an Important Untapped Resource: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-08-12 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The world runs on data, and most of it is not in a structured database. Experts at Gartner, Forrester and IDC estimate that somewhere around 80 percent of all the data in the world in all its many forms is stored on media and in file systems not managed in a database. More than 6,000 pictures are shared on social media sites, and more than 200 million emails sent and recorded every minute. YouTube reports that an hour's worth of video is posted on its site every second. People aren't the only ones creating this data; servers generate log files, and machine-based sensors produce mountains of information. The amount of digital content is more than mind-boggling; it's enterprise storage-boggling. How do we best organize and keep compliant all our unstructured personal and business data? This slide show contains 10 relevant data points about unstructured data that enterprises should know. Resources include data intelligence software provider DataGravity, industry research from the analysts noted above and eWEEK reporting.

 
 
 
  • Unstructured Data Is an Important Untapped Resource: 10 Reasons Why

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - Unstructured Data Is an Important Untapped Resource: 10 Reasons Why
  • Unstructured Data Refers to More Information Than You Think

    The term unstructured data describes information that is not organized into a well-defined schema. Nearly all that lives outside of relational databases is unstructured and includes images, videos and log files produced by computers, machines and sensors. Even this slide show list is unstructured data.
    2 - Unstructured Data Refers to More Information Than You Think
  • Unstructured Data Accounts for 80 Percent of Stored Information

    The sheer amount of unstructured data is staggering. It makes up 80 percent of all digitally stored data. As the data-driven economy grows, the amount of unstructured data being produced grows as well, due to society's constant use of social media, emails, documents, photos, videos and many other types of data.
    3 - Unstructured Data Accounts for 80 Percent of Stored Information
  • Unstructured Data Is Created Everywhere, All the Time

    Unstructured data is so voluminous because it is being created everywhere, all the time. Every minute, there are more than 6,000 pictures shared on social media sites and more than 200 million emails sent. People aren't the only ones creating this data: Servers generate log files, and machine-based sensors produce mountains of information.
    4 - Unstructured Data Is Created Everywhere, All the Time
  • Unstructured Data Is Often Very Important Data

    Your company strategy, vision and goals are locked in unstructured data in the Websites, presentations or Microsoft Word documents where they are held. Even your medical record is unstructured; the notes and test values are often stored as entirely unstructured data.
    5 - Unstructured Data Is Often Very Important Data
  • Significant Time and Value Goes Into Creating Unstructured Data

    Employees spend a significant portion of their time creating presentations, proposals and business plans. Businesses lose nearly 20 percent of their productivity looking for previously created unstructured data and laboriously recreating it if it can't be found.
    6 - Significant Time and Value Goes Into Creating Unstructured Data
  • Analyzing Unstructured Data Can Provide Competitive Advantages

    Unstructured data isn't well organized or easy to access, but companies who analyze this data and integrate it into their information management landscape can significantly improve employee productivity. Analysis allows organizations to quickly identify experts and authoritative information, which saves time and prevents rework. It can also help businesses capture important decisions and the supporting evidence for those decisions.
    7 - Analyzing Unstructured Data Can Provide Competitive Advantages
  • Unstructured Data Can Reveal Social Trends, Improve Customer Satisfaction

    Analyzing social content such as Tweets, Facebook posts and transcripts from support calls gives a clear view of how customers perceive the value—and issues—regarding your products. Proactively understanding the issues and responding can dramatically improve the satisfaction of your customers, while feature requests can be captured, grouped and prioritized in ways never before possible.
    8 - Unstructured Data Can Reveal Social Trends, Improve Customer Satisfaction
  • Combining Structured, Unstructured Data Improves Efficiency

    Before a salesperson contacts an existing customer to up-sell or to renew a contract, they need to know about the existing deal with the customer, how happy that customer is with the product or service, and who has been working with them in the past. Some of this data—such as customer contact details, deal size and structure—is often stored in structured databases, while communications, support cases and prior emails are locked in different systems.
    9 - Combining Structured, Unstructured Data Improves Efficiency
  • Compliance Laws Cover Unstructured Data

    Many laws cover the management of unstructured data: how long data must be retained and how data should be managed if your company is involved in a lawsuit. Failing to comply can lead to fines or even lost court cases.
    10 - Compliance Laws Cover Unstructured Data
  • Managing and Analyzing Unstructured Data Is Complex and Costly

    The value of unstructured data is clear, but so are the costs of effectively analyzing and managing it. Complex text, audio and video analysis software often requires customization for your organization, and the individuals using the data management systems may need training to ensure that they are getting the most out of the investment. Have specific goals in mind when you start an unstructured data analysis or management project.
    11 - Managing and Analyzing Unstructured Data Is Complex and Costly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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