We’re told that by 2025, 80% of all data will be ‘unstructured’. What does this mean, and why does it matter? Let’s take a look…
What is unstructured data?
Unstructured data is information that traditional computing models struggle to fit into the normal ways of storing and processing such as databases. Its formal term is ‘qualitative’ data. All computation systems can understand numerical data and figures such as profit, loss and structured relational data like addresses linked to a customer. However, other types of data can be very difficult to interpret and file into databases, often called unstructured data. Written text documents, photographs, social media comments, video and sound are classic unstructured data examples.
Why is unstructured data important?
Unstructured data contains a wealth of qualitative information. Qualitative information is the opposite of mathematical (quantitative) data and offers deep insight into behavioural context. Establishing relevance and value of this precious data resource could be the difference to achieving a significant business differentiator or competitive advantage. It offers the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind decision-making. You might be able to see that 60% of clients are making a particular decision, for instance, but without unstructured data you will not necessarily know why. Companies therefore find it useful to log and interpret this data, as it helps them to better connect with customers. Ignoring unstructured data puts projects at risk. However, unstructured data can be overwhelming, so it needs tools specifically designed to make sense of it.
How can software help?
Software can automatically analyse and classify unstructured data, helping you to establish its relevance and value. Classification of data is the computing equivalent to a highlighter pen that selects keywords and themes, helping you to identify and analyse data that is relevant to your project or business or even highlighting data that is not, saving valuable time and resources.
Being able to look at your unstructured data in this way enables a holistic insight into behaviours and patterns. Armed with this knowledge, companies can engage better with their consumer base, target their marketing, improve services, better inform future planning decisions, become more competitive and reduce business risk of data related non-compliance.
How can Clearview help?
Clearview designs a range of bespoke software solutions, and work with partners such as Infoboss that are specialists in unstructured data processing and management. For more information, or to arrange a free demo, please call 0845 519 7661.
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