Studies show that 96 percent of businesses fail to unlock data’s full potential. Why? The answer is simple: We’re thinking about data wrong. A company’s data includes email, documents, social media feeds, reviews, notes and more. Companies are struggling to find value in it and failing to realize that there’s more to data than what meets the eye. A study by IBM showed that an estimated 80 percent of data is unstructured, meaning businesses only have access to about 20 percent of data. In other words, businesses are missing out on a large portion of data that could help elevate their businesses to new heights.
How do we overcome these obstacles? What needs to be done to change the way people see data and develop the necessary awareness that’s missing? With solutions ranging from building the right team to investing in the proper tools for full data analysis, businesses can begin developing a plan to help them unlock the full potential of their data.
Overcome a Lack of Skills in the Workforce
It’s no secret that it takes a unique skillset to accurately read data and react to it. The problem has to be fixed from the inside first. Ensuring that you’re investing in the right team of people is crucial. Many businesses see data analytics as being IT owned, and while that’s a common view, it’s also incorrect. Businesses also have executives jumping into data projects without understanding what it takes to use data successfully. One of the solutions is simple: Companies need to either outsource a highly skilled team or invest aggressively in data science teams to take full advantage of data, both structured and unstructured.
Gain the Ability to Process Your Organization’s Unstructured Data
With 80 percent of data being unstructured, traditional analytic tools lack the ability to fully process what the data signifies. Data emanates from a constantly running machine that, unless provided with the proper tools, can miss significant results stemming from this data. Tools such as the Darwin Awareness Engine developed by Darwin Ecosystem, a technology services and solutions company that creates cognitive data exploration, discovery and research solutions, uses pattern detection technology to extract data, refine it and reveal patterns hidden in structured and unstructured data. Insights are revealed from a business’s streaming information sets that enable the business to make strategic predictions that could undoubtedly help businesses succeed by leveraging data others can’t.
Keep Projects on Track by Ensuring Proper Alignment Between Businesses and IT Groups
Constant communication between executives and IT teams is necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page. With data constantly evolving, it’s important for roles and responsibilities to be clearly defined to ensure all work is being handled by the appropriate channels. Often, the problem isn’t a business’s inability to take action; rather, it’s the ability to take appropriate action.
The fallacy in many companies is that the accumulation of data represents wealth. In reality, however, it’s the exploitation of data. Successful companies need to look past the empirical data and look at data through patterns and correlations to drive valuable insights and actions. This can be done with the proper team and tools that ultimately unlock the full potential of data.
Thierry Hubert is founder and CEO of Darwin Ecosystem, a technology services and solutions company that creates cognitive data exploration, discovery and research solutions. Hubert served as Director of Knowledge Management, Process Innovation, and Research and Development at IBM’s web-based collaborative solutions for government, healthcare, telecommunication and communities of interest industries. Prior to his work with IBM, he became Senior Director of the Lotus Institute and later became the Head of Research and Development. In this latter role at the Lotus Institute, he created InterCommunity, one of the first community Internet products at the time.