What kinds of data does your company use? More importantly, what kinds of data does your company ignore?
These are some of the questions posed by this week’s suggested reading, an introduction to dark data from Deloitte University Press.
“In the context of business data, ‘dark’ describes something that is hidden or undigested. Dark analytics focuses primarily on raw text-based data that has not been analyzed — with an emphasis on unstructured data, which may include things such as text messages, documents, email, video and audio files, and still images.”
But what is dark data?
Essentially, “dark data” refers to any available, impactful information that goes unconsidered by an organization. Dark data exists in surprising places, like within your organization’s social interactions or even in publicly-available archives. The article goes into more detail, describing several types of dark data, some use cases, and critical risk factors when mining new sources.
The only problem with the term “dark data” is that some businesses may dismiss the concept as esoteric. “We’re not a big data company,” you might think, “we don’t have the tools for advanced analytics.” But for every type of dark data, there are researchers and engineers who are doing the heavy lifting for you.
The quanry of dark text
Consider unstructured text data — product descriptions, messaging, consumer feedback, etc. Some businesses still sort and analyze this data manually; the more information there is to go through, the more likely that key insights will be left “in the dark.”
But there are tools to make those insights accessible, and you don’t have to work for a big data company to take advantage of them. eContext’s text classification is one way to pull value from unstructured data, distilling the topics in high-volume text (like retail metadata or customers’ public social posts). Organizations have used our classification to answer key questions like “How can we make our products more accessible?” or “What do our most loyal customers have in common?” The virtue of a software company like ours is that we take the mystery out of “dark data” and turn it into digestible, impactful information.
“In a business climate where data is competitive currency…unexplored resources could prove to be something akin to a lottery jackpot.” Looking back, this has been one of the predominant business lessons of the 2010’s. Looking forward, it’s a lesson that more and more organizations can’t afford to ignore.
Get more information on eContext’s classification solutions.