In the era of globalization, for a business to survive, it’s of utmost importance to take advantage of all meaningful and valuable data. Despite it might seem invisible and of minor importance at the first glance.
For many decades, the companies have been completely ignoring the huge chunk of their data, untapped and unstructured, often faded into oblivion, without having a slightest idea that it might be “a hidden treasure chest” full of opportunities and enormous benefits...
How do the companies end up having these piles of unused data?
Well, of course, it doesn’t happen overnight, and the businesses accumulate it from server log files, GPS networks, security tools, call records, web traffic, etc. Every digital transaction, from the contents of a warehouse’s shelves to the time and location of every login to the secure networks is recorded and stored.
Illuminating benefits hidden within unstructured data
As Deloitte Insights reports, the Internet of Things’ (IoT) explosive growth will see 20.8 billion connected devices deployed by 2020. As the IoT expands, so will the volumes of data the technology generates.
By some estimates, the data that IoT devices will create globally in the year of 2019 (the significant part of which will be “dark”) will be 269 times greater than the amount of data being transmitted to data centers from end-user devices and 49 times higher than total data-center traffic.
Today, it’s already a proven fact that every company features tons of “unknown and untapped data generated by internal systems and interactions” called “dark data.” The power of dark data and increasingly sophisticated analytics tools rely on our ability to combine disparate data to uncover new insights.
This article unveils the current state of dark data across the globe based on the Splunk Executive Summary, outlining the most recent tendencies in the global data landscape, as well as provides practical tips on how to efficiently adopt data-driven culture.
As the Splunk findings demonstrate, 81% of business and IT decision makers report that data is “extremely valuable” to their organization’s overall success, with 55% of the respondents responding that 55% of this data is dark.
Capturing dark data is a top priority for the leaders
Although 77% of global respondents agree that detecting and leveraging chaotic dark data should be a priority, there are still numerous obstacles impeding the recovery of this type of data. The obstacles to recovering dark data include, but a not limited to:
- Volume of dark data (39%);
- Lack of required skill sets and resources (32%);
- Difficulty in coordinating across departments (28%).
It’s obvious that the problem of unused and ignored data is a global challenge. Surprisingly enough, although the majority of the global respondents see over 75% of their organization data as dark, China is the only country with the respondents claiming that less than a half of their data is dark (56%).
In contrast, the United States maintain that half or more of its companies’ consider data as dark (63%). Even more, this country is more likely than its counterparts to rate data skills as extremely important in the future.
Organizations must grasp the opportunities and confront the challenges of dark data — through greater strategic thinking, targeted technology investment, and more energetic and comprehensive skills training — to take full advantage of the next data revolution.
Why dark data still remains dark?
Often, organizations ignore potentially valuable data because they don’t have the time or resources to prepare it for use. Being unable to understand its full potential, they don’t have necessary tools or knowledge as for how to leverage this data to transform it into valuable insights.
At the same time, everyone agrees on the crucial role of data, yet, not all global leaders are fully committed to the upcoming revolution. Based on Splunk report, some senior leaders “may have made the decision to ride the changes out, hoping to make it to retirement on their current levels of knowledge and experience around big data mining and AI.”
Your organization may find itself overwhelmed by tons of unstructured data generated by IoT devices. But don’t panic!
Is there any way you can help your organization generate data-driven insights already today to ensure a smooth transition to a data-driven culture tomorrow?
Definitely, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Just make sure to follow these practical steps:
1. Ask the right questions
Rather than attempting to discover and inventory all of the dark data hidden within and outside your organization, work with business teams to identify specific questions they want answered. Work to identify potential dark analytics sources and the untapped opportunities contained therein. Then focus your analytics efforts on those data streams and sources that are particularly relevant.
2. Look outside your organization
One can increase the company’s data with publicly available demographic, location, and statistical information. Not only can this help your analytics teams generate more expansive, detailed reports—it can put insights in a more useful context. For instance, employers might analyze data from geospatial tools and employee turnover to determine the extent to which employee job satisfaction levels are being adversely impacted by commute times.
3. Augment data talent
Data scientists are an increasingly valuable resource, especially those who can artfully combine deep modelling and statistical techniques with industry or function-specific insights and creative problem framing. Going forward, those with demonstrable expertise in a few areas will likely be in demand.
Likewise, visual and graphic design skills may be increasingly critical given that visually communicating results and explaining rationales are essential for broad organizational adoption. Explore advanced visualization tools:
Company’s team members have to understand the essence of the complex analytical insights before they can turn insight into action. Thus, the information can be more easily digested when presented as an infographic, a dashboard, or another type of visual representation. Likewise, the insights can be made accessible across the enterprise, beyond the IT department, and to business users at all levels, to create more agile, cross-functional teams.
4. View it as a business-driven effort
It’s time for the companies to perceive analytics as an overall business strategy with C-suite colleagues supporting the dark analytics approach. Many CEOs are making data a cornerstone of overall business strategy.
As a result, it’s possible to better comprehend organization’s goals and their value in order to harness available data to generate answers. It’s a must to think broadly. As you develop new capabilities and strategies, think about how you can extend them across the organization as well as to customers, vendors, and business partners.
Build an infrastructure and culture of data! Dark data contains gigantic potential, for it provides an enormous, untapped resource of information that AI can analyze. Modern companies should be looking not only for the key technical skills, but also for a data-centric mindset.
They should use the data, existent tools and skills to create the most efficient data-driven company and workforce, and use that as a foundation for overall company growth.
Shed light on your dark data! Let it illuminate the world around you!