Business has gone through a transformation from a production-oriented to a customer-oriented activity. The cornerstones of success are real-time operations and individual service. So, it is no longer enough to stare into the rear-view mirror or at quarterly reports. Now the winners are those who can best understand customer trends – see into the future. Therefore, the course of dark data is steeply rising.
Dark data typically consists of unstructured data which is derived from social media, customer service, videos, PDF files and sensors, for example. Understanding dark data is challenging, yet at the same time it offers an opportunity to gain a significant competitive advantage in a rapidly changing market. According to a survey by Econsultancy, as much as 80% of company data is dark data, and as much as a third of this, if correctly utilised, could bring added value for the business. At the moment, dark data is, as the name suggests, in most cases hidden in companies: it is estimated that only about 0.5% of this data property is utilised.
However, 2018 is going to change the data utilisation culture in this respect. We can still remember a similar situation, when data storage and the drop in the cost of processing to a fraction of what it used to be introduced big data to everyone’s agenda. Now, thanks to the technological progress, dark data can also easily be analysed by artificial intelligence. One of the tools is known as IBM i2/Wex bridge, which translated into English means that Watson explorer, a tool for the processing of unstructured data, is now linkable to the i2 analytics tool through Cogniware integration. Easy and useful!
Nevertheless, technology alone is not capable of solving business challenges or finding an optimal development direction. What is most important, is to ask the right questions, i.e. to find the key pain points in your own business that you wish to cure by diving into the data. So, let 2018 be the year when questions feeding innovative thinking and utilisation of dark data make a breakthrough!