By Emma Isichei
Enterprises today have to be aware that they have data chaos within their businesses, and they need to embrace this as part of their digital transformation.
So what is data chaos? The challenge with big data, other than the obvious fact that it is big, is that so much of it is unstructured. The struggle among businesses to extract meaningful information from unstructured data is universal. Data is ubiquitous and is embedded in countless formats. It’s in our email, paper documents, online posts, videos and more. Most of the time it’s free form, in every format except the neatly organised rows and columns of a database. We refer to this as ‘data chaos’ -- the point where the size and growth of unstructured data vastly outpaces structured data, presenting significant obstacles to operational efficiency, responsiveness to customers and profitable growth.
The chaotic world of business data finds its resolution in digital transformation. Businesses need to focus on managing the data and information. A business can harness the value by being able to control the data and better use it to serve customers, improve businesses and decision-making and this will have a positive effect on the bottom line.
However, to do this, 4 core problems need to be addressed, that AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management) outlines for the enterprises when it comes to information and data.
The first one is engagement. With information flowing from all around the business, both inside and outside, businesses needs to consider their customers, employees and partners and understand how they can best capture information and deliver it to the right place, in a secure and effective manner.
Next is automation. Organisations need to consider how their processes are automated in order to get information to the right place fast and accurately. This is important, as the digital native (a growing percentage of the population with the GCC) wants a response quickly. In addition, if time is lost due to the delaying of decisions because of unavailable information, then this may impact the bottom line and vitally, it may also have regulatory and compliance consequences. It is vital that information capture is automated and processed across the business as one, and not in silos. This can create the competitive advantage.
The next is insight. What good is data that is just data? It is the value of information that is important to a business. So being able to capture and organise can create value for the business. After all, if a business harnesses their data it could achieve $65 million by processing 10% more data more effectively; Understand the value!
Finally, but not least, risk. This runs across how engagement, automation and insight. The regulations and compliance that each business needs to adhere to is vital, and as information increases across the business, a CIO needs to consider where, what and how the data flows through the business. It is vital that the relevant policies are put in place to adhere to compliance and regulations.
It is clear that businesses today are unprepared in this world of Data Chaos. There is only a focus on structured data and data management systems and strategies are outdated. The exploitation of unstructured data represents too great an opportunity for businesses to ignore. Today systems of engagement and insight have moved to the edge and it is crucial to have tools, which are web-based. This way the business can integrate and leverage the data regardless of the edges i.e. where it is created.
About the author
Emma Isichei is the worldwide category director, capture solutions at Kodak Alaris.