If you are familiar with data or business intelligence, which I’m guessing you are, you’ve probably followed the evolution of data. Today we have Smart Data helping us improve our business practices and make better decisions, but let’s not forget the guy nobody invited to the party but showed up nonetheless: Dark Data. Enterprises have been collecting, if not hoarding, data for years. Who can blame them? We all have a little Mr. FOMO inside of us (Fear of Missing Out).
We think that we should store everything because it can come in handy one day. All this information is what becomes Smart Data or Dark Data, to put it in simple terms.
Recently, experts are talking about data becoming ungovernable, because apparently, like good data hoarders that we are, we store more data than we can handle. From all this data, there is about a 10% that is useful and a 90% that is not only not useful, but also costly and risky. The 90% is what experts call Dark Data. According to consulting expert Gartner, the definition for Dark Data is “information assets that organizations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes”[i]. So pretty much it is data that we own but don’t analyze nor gain purpose from. Dark Data also presents several risks to organizations. Some include legal and regulatory risks, in case confidential information like credit card records gets exposed. And there are also intelligence risks, in case special know-how, practices and future deals get exposed.
Techopedia says Dark Data is “similar to big data but differs in how it is mostly neglected by business and IT administrators in terms of its value”.[ii] So before you freak out, like Techopedia mentions, there is value to Dark Data, it’s just neglected.
So that means there is hope, we have to find a way to access the value of Dark Data. Experts always talk about the darkness of Dark Data. If you could analyze it then it wouldn’t be so dark would it? You just have to illuminate your Dark Data to make it useful. At Necto we actually developed a solution that will help you access the hidden insights behind your Dark Data, automatically. Necto finds automatic insights on 100% of your data through patented algorithms, in seconds! Now you can shine light on all your data, even the dark one, and gain real insights to help you improve your business.