• Achieving complete information transparency is crucial for successful business outcomes. Ensure comprehensive data gathering from each department, providing your team with an overall vision.
  • Extracting valuable insights from unstructured data benefits decision-making, workflow optimization, customer experience enhancement, information security, market vision, and regulatory compliance.

As demonstrated by practice, 80-90% of company-generated data needs to be more structured. A recent survey by Statista conducted in the US and the UK revealed that documents are the most prevalent form of unstructured data in organizations, as reported by 65.4% of respondents. Other categories include user, research, and video and media data.

Simultaneously, the global data volume is on an exponential growth trajectory, projected to surpass 180 zettabytes by 2025. Despite this data explosion, effective unstructured data management remains challenging, leading many companies to neglect it.

Accentuating this landscape is a recent report by Accenture on unstructured data insights, revealing that a staggering 80% of enterprise data is unstructured, with this figure poised for continuous growth. This paradigm underscores the strategic imperative for business leaders to navigate the uncharted realms of unstructured data, aligning its usage with overarching organizational objectives.

However, organizations seeking to confront the complexities of managing unstructured data gain valuable insights from this vast and expanding information landscape. But what is it, and why is it?

What Is Unstructured Data Management?

Managing unstructured data sets involves collecting, storing, organizing, and analyzing data needing a predefined structure.

Structured data management, accomplished with tools like Excel and databases, contrasts with the complexities of unstructured data. The latter demands advanced tools, intricate rules, and techniques to convert it into quantifiable data.

Companies grapple with vast amounts of unstructured data from diverse sources daily —market data, customer feedback, in-app reviews, and social media. Extracting valuable insights from data marts aids in informed decision-making, shapes data-driven strategies, enhances processes and products, reduces costs, and fosters a competitive advantage.

Exploring unstructured data processing unravels the intricacies of handling diverse data forms and delves into the substantial advantages it brings to businesses.

What Are the Benefits of Unstructured Data Management for Your Business?

The wide range of content types that make up unstructured data, including documents, photos, videos, and more, are not predefinedly organized like structured data. Unstructured data has enormous business potential despite its inherent complexity because it provides insightful information, chances for innovation, and a thorough grasp of consumer behavior.

Listed below are the advantages of unstructured data management:

  • Optimized workflow

Implementing a data management system ensures that your employees always know where to find the necessary information and how to utilize it effectively. This reduces the time required to locate documents, enabling the team to concentrate on their core responsibilities.

  • Improved decision-making

Achieving complete information transparency is crucial for successful business outcomes. Ensure comprehensive data gathering from each department, providing your team with an overall vision. This approach will empower your employees to make quick and effective decisions based on factual information.

  • Polished customer experience

Unstructured data management tools enable continuous monitoring of client communication channels such as phone calls, live chats, reviews, and emails. Automating the transformation of client requests into support tickets allows swift responses to client needs. Similarly, tracking online content mentioning your brand’s name across various social media platforms can be done in real-time with minimal effort.

  • Safer information environment

The more data gets overlooked, the more cyber security threats your business will face. Securing your assets begins with awareness. Without a comprehensive understanding of what you have, protection is challenging. Embrace complete information transparency coupled with regular backups to significantly diminish the risk of cyberattacks, ensuring the resilience of your digital ecosystem.

  • Clear market vision

Track your competitors online using AI and machine learning. Analyzing their presence helps you understand your market position, spot trends, and identify areas for improvement. Information is crucial for market growth.

  • Timely regulatory compliance

You can properly manage your company’s data to meet legal requirements. Unstructured information, when organized, helps you identify and address areas that may pose legal risks, ensuring compliance and minimizing potential issues.

Unlocking the advantages of managing unstructured data in your business spans from heightened accessibility to augmented decision-making capabilities. Nevertheless, delving into this unexplored terrain also poses particular challenges.

What Are The Challenges of Unstructured Data Management?

Companies encounter several challenges in the management of unstructured data. Here are some of the most common challenges:

  • Data stored in silos: Different departments or teams usually amass data in diverse formats and systems. Nevertheless, it is recommended for enterprises to consolidate their data in a unified location for prompt access by workers.
  • Data quality: Cleaning unstructured data before organization is an everyday necessity. While handling substantial data volumes can pose challenges for companies, data cleaning is essential to extract maximum value from the data.
  • Costs of data: As the volume of unstructured data grows within organizations, the need for storage increases, contributing to the overall data management costs. Companies can mitigate expenses by compressing data, reducing storage requirements, and enhancing overall data management efficiency.

Addressing the issues of managing unstructured data in the organization is essential to build a strong data strategy. To understand the underlying distinctions and create practical solutions, it becomes imperative to investigate the subtleties of structured and unstructured data management.

What Is The Difference Between Structured and Unstructured Data Management?

Having acknowledged the meticulous organization and systematic clarity offered by structured data, it’s crucial to recognize that unstructured data introduces a dynamic and diverse dimension to information. But the differences don’t end just there; here are the main differences between the two:

Structured Data Unstructured Data
It is in numbers and text in standardized, readable formats. It comes in various shapes and sizes that do not conform to a predefined data model and remain in their native format.
Typically, XML and CSV. Typically, it is DOC, WMV, MPW, MP3, and WAV.
Follows a predefined relational data model. It does not have a data model, though it may have a hidden structure.
Stored in a relational database in tables, rows, and columns, with specific labels. Relational databases use SQL for processing. Stored in unstructured raw formats or a NoSQL database. Many companies use data lakes to store large volumes of unstructured data they can access when needed.
Easy to search and use with ample analytics tools available. It requires complex search, processing, and analysis before placing it in a relational database.
Quantitative (with countable elements) is easy to group based on attributes or characteristics. Qualitative with subjective information that must be split, stacked, grouped, mined, and patterned to analyze it.

To Conclude                                                                                   

Unstructured data management involves navigating the complexities of collecting, storing, and analyzing data without a predefined structure. While structured data thrives on organization, unstructured data introduces diversity, encompassing various content types like documents, photos, and videos.

Extracting valuable insights from this diverse landscape benefits decision-making, workflow optimization, customer experience enhancement, information security, market vision, and regulatory compliance. However, challenges like siloed data, data quality, and escalating costs accompany unstructured data management. Recognizing the differences between structured and unstructured data is crucial for developing effective data strategies and addressing the unique nuances each presents.

Expand your knowledge on such matters by exploring our extensive selection of data-related whitepapers.