In 2020 Big data have become a MUST for every advanced company, and for that reason, this trend has changed its positioning: from a competitive edge-driving asset into a mainstream tool for business intelligence. After all, if a big percentage of the thriving organizations use Big data, it is time to turn to a new, more advanced, complex, and cutting edge business solutions.
According to the leaders in the data integration industry, such as IBM, Dark data are the assets, which have the potential to change the game for the business entities that have adopted digital culture, and provide them with a strong competitive advantage in terms of innovation, customer CX, profit and cost optimization.
However, Dark data is an enormous resource, which is often too complex, voluminous, and overwhelming for the organizations. That is why we have prepared some examples on how to make the best out of your dark data, and make the most of the benefits they hide.
Take a look around
By knowing what is going on outside the business entity itself, we are able to make better decisions for the implementation of our dark data and even enrich our current data resources. The factors which are worthy of looking into are the Market environment, the industry of operation, and any potential external sources of data.
- The market overview includes mainly data about competitors, associates, and customers, which can offer us insights about our market positioning and any market gaps.
- By looking into the industry, we are able to identify recurring trends, customer interests, behaviors, as well as “must-adopt” technologies and practices.
- Having a peek in external data has the potential to upgrade our current assets and give us a more complex overview of the market and industry. Those data may be both publicly and privately available, depending on their data sources.
By conducting those three activities, we have the opportunity to gain valuable insights from more detailed business reports, based on our dark data resources and identify new goals and company objectives. As a result, we can work directly to maintain our competitive advantage in the area of operation.
Ask smart questions
Having on-hand data without purpose is the same as owning a senseless pool of valuable resources, which you simply cannot use.
By asking the right questions and giving dark data a purpose, we enable it to give answers to important business questions we have, and as a result, enhance our planning, decision making, and risk assessment processes.
The main advantage of dark data in that sense is that this resource is complex and voluminous, which is a prerequisite for providing very specific answers to exceptionally narrow questions.
For example: “When is the perfect time during the day to post blog content in digital platforms, according to the social media activity of our target customers?” Or “Which stage of our supply chain generates most costs, and how can we optimize those without compromising the final result or quality?”
Asking these questions helps us to work actively towards our business goals and corporate objectives by effectively using dark data as the key driver for success.
Get the right technology
Not all dark data is equally valuable.
In order to benefit the most from these data resources, it is key to utilize a high-quality data collector and integrator. Such technology enables us to achieve better structured, stored, and secured resources, and enhance the trustworthiness of analytics, which are further used for business purposes.
What is more, high-grade dark data collector improves the availability of data across the organization, ensuring easy and reliable access to its platform interface, and preventing the formation of data silos. At the same time, excellent technology ensures that the data sets stay complete, avoiding any lost pieces of the “data puzzle.”
Even though we first emphasized the importance of technology, the proper use of it is impossible without having knowledge and expertise on how to deal with it.
For this reason, the Chief Data Officers play a key role in every data-driven organization to make the most of the available dark data resources. In fact, according to a Forbes study, “In 2012, just 12% of Fortune 1000 companies had a CDO. By 2018, 67.9% of surveyed firms reported having a CDO.” This emphasizes the importance of those experts in the 2020 decade.
They control the flow of data sets, monitor the technology functionality, keep track of the data quality and security, and technically convert data into information. The CDOs are the ones that take care of data and extract business answers from it in order to suit the company objectives.
And without those C-level experts, it is impossible for the companies to take total advantage of their data collection and integration technologies and the dark data themselves.
Looking from a business perspective, the potential of dark data is immense. But obviously, it is not enough to simply collect those data. Connecting it logically to the business world, giving it the right purpose, using the right technology to deal with it, and having enough expertise to manage it are the key points for taking the most value out of those hidden assets.