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Datameer Blog

Shine Light on Dark Data

By on August 6, 2014

At every organization neglected data sits overlooked in log files and archives accumulating digital dust and incurring costs. But as more organizations look for ways to become better, stronger and faster, they’re digging into this “dark” data and uncovering a gold mine of business intelligence.

Gartner defines dark data as the information organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but fail to use for other purposes. Organizations typically retain dark data for compliance or future purposes incurring costs and risk to store it, yet often overlook its potential value to inform business decisions. By analyzing insights extracted from dark data with traditional sources of information, organizations can reveal valuable information about businesses patterns and customer trends that can put them ahead of competition.

Research firm IDC estimates that 90 percent of digital data is dark. This dark data may come in the form of machine or sensor logs that when analyzed help predict vacated real estate or customer time zones that may help businesses pinpoint when customers in a specific region prefer to engage with brands. While the value of these insights are very significant, setting foot into the world of dark data that is unstructured, untagged and untapped is daunting for both IT and business users.

So how can organizations execute a big data analytics strategy that shines light on dark data? The first step is putting together a sound strategy. Software Advice recently published a report (see link at the end of this post) that highlights five steps organizations should take to take on dark data.

Step 1: Determine the Challenge You Want to Address

Step 2: Create a Team That Includes Old and New Blood

Step 3: Identify the Right Dark Data Sources

Step 4:Use Hadoop to Mine Your Dark Data

Step 5: Test Results Against Existing Sets of Data

Armed with these five steps, organizations can dig into dark data and see how far it can take their organization. To learn more from dark data experts, check out the full Software Advice report here

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Joe Nicholson