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Published on 12th July 2016

Unstructured Data – what exactly is it?

Unstructured data is defined as information which does not have a recognisable structure or doesn’t follow a specific form. For example, documents, PDFs, emails, etc.

All organisations will have some form of unstructured data within their data sets. The challenge is knowing what this information is and what it contains.

When it comes to unstructured data, you may want to hide your head in the sand and hope for it to go away. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that.

Unstructured data management typically results in significant storage spend, information silos and makes it increasingly difficult to locate valuable business data.

One view is that the cost of storage will reduce over time and therefore the problem should be pushed forward and solved in the future, however the increasing rate of data creation is accelerating much faster than storage costs are falling.

So unstructured data is here to stay – unless you manage it appropriately.

It’s time to pay attention to your unstructured data and here’s why:

1. It’s costing you money

Around 58% of unstructured data is either duplicated or redundant. If you currently have file shares or other content systems filled with unstructured data, you may be paying more than double what you could be.

2. It’s more valuable than you think

Within your unstructured data lies a significant amount of valuable data, data you may need to keep for regulatory purposes or against organisational policy. Finding that data and managing it is important to ensure business continuity and meet compliance requirements. Under-retention and over-retention of data significantly increases risk for the organisation. Identifying and properly managing retention of your data will remove this risk.

3. It’s killing productivity in your workspace

Searching for pre-existing information has been identified as one of the largest productivity losses for employees. A lot of this wasted energy is due to information being hidden within lots of redundant data, filed inappropriately and not available through search.

By removing information silos and making all the data of value available in a platform where users can easily work and collaborate you’re not just enabling your employees to become more productive, but also more effective.

Automated Intelligence specialises in helping organisations take control of their unstructured data, reducing risk and increasing productivity. To find out more, or to get support in taking control of your data, get in touch via the form below.

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