2Unstructured 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.
3Unstructured 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.
4Unstructured 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.
5Unstructured Data Is Often Very Important Data
6Significant Time and Value Goes Into Creating Unstructured Data
7Analyzing 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.
8Unstructured 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.
9Combining 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.
10Compliance Laws Cover Unstructured Data
11Managing 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.