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Dark Data

What is dark data?

Gartner defines dark data “as the information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes (for example, analytics, business relationships and direct monetizing). Similar to dark matter in physics, dark data often comprises most organizations’ universe of information assets. Thus, organizations often retain dark data for compliance purposes only. Storing and securing data typically incurs more expense (and sometimes greater risk) than value.”

The outlook of this definition may cause alarm bells in some and less so in others. The fact of the matter is you need to keep data for all sorts of reasons; business functionality and compliance purposes to name just two. What does this really mean for your environments capacity growth, its associated costs and opportunities to better understand your business’s potential?

Whilst it is said that dark data has no value to the business, it yet remains an area that isn’t tapped into thoroughly enough to make such statements officially. Business to business needs and wants will differ, therefore the ability to analyse and trend dark data will have varying results from one business to another.

Once an understanding of how this impacts your environment is present, improved solutions can be sourced and deployed to maximize your return on investment.

Further from Techopedia explains “Dark data is data that is found in log files and data archives stored within large enterprise class data storage locations. It includes all data objects and types that have yet to be analyzed for any business or competitive intelligence or aid in business decision making. Typically, dark data is complex to analyze and stored in locations where analysis is difficult. The overall process can be costly. It also can include data objects that have not been seized by the enterprise or data that are external to the organization, such as data stored by partners or customers.

IDC, a research firm, stated that up to 90 percent of big data is dark data.”

How does this fit into your strategy? Will your organisation be able to take an economical advantage of dark data to drive new opportunities and revenues? What about enhance efficiencies internally by reducing costs?

References:
Gartner – www.gartner.com/it-glossary/dark-data
Techopedia – www.techopedia.com/definition/29373/dark-data