Decluttering the chaos of Dark Data
Getting familiar with the term Dark Data:

Organizations, over the years of business, accumulate data or information in various forms in abundance. But the degree to which this data is being utilized is bare minimum. Any such data which are not used for any other purposes other than audit or compliance can be termed as 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).”

This entire notion of accumulation of non-critical things makes total sense to everybody, not just in a business context. It can be associated with households as well. Hoarding on irrelevant and obsolete things & antiques for years, and passing them on from generations to generations is a practice which is part and parcel of human nature. Eventually we lose track of the things we store, thus the ignorance about the value of stored items arises. It just gets stacked up cluttering the store room and attics. Even when we know it is somewhere there in possession of us, we will not be able to make it of any use because of the difficulty to access it or the unknown existence of the same.

While the entire data is stored for audit and compliance purposes in the case of businesses, the infinite possibilities to deduce valuable information and patterns from these data in hand is going in vain.

Cost * Value implication of Dark Data
The cost incurred to store and manage dark data is way higher than the value gained from this abundance of data in most organizations. Even with the implementation of proper document management & advanced information management practices organizations fail to achieve the desired results or deduce actionable insights from these stored data because of inefficiencies in the indexing and storing practices. All the while just holding onto this data is incurring cost in multiple ways including storage & maintenance in physical or digital form, security (irrespective of the criticality & confidentiality of the data) and many other costs associated with it.

Analyzing the value of stored data can be a herculean task on its own. But it’s going to be worth the while. Irrespective of the value, it is always better to have this sorted and stored in a structured manner for any future reference that may come in the way of the organization; even a lawsuit in the worst-case scenario.

How to change the status of data from dark data to insightful information?
The abundant supply of dark data cannot be ignored and the difficulty in deriving information from it can be a tedious task too. Application of analytical tools and techniques are needed to decipher dark data into information.

There are various measures which can be taken to neutralize the situation. First and foremost, the organizations must be able to identify the source and storage of such data, which further leads us to the indexing and organization of data while storing them. Next is to understand and define the value of stored data compared to the cost in managing them. Bottom line is that all the unnecessary data should be gotten rid of in the process.

It will be a lot easier if organizations have proper archival mechanisms to dispose of data and documents which are of no use after a certain period of time using a retention and disposal schedule. By following these crucial steps, the majority of dark data can be decluttered and can be brought back to light.

Realizing the value of Content Services Platform in unraveling the hidden nuances for a better employment of dark data.
‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started’ and it is never too late to start making changes.
Content Services Platform with best-in-class record management and archival management capabilities can be of great importance to organizations struggling with large amounts of dark data. Such technologically advanced systems help in curbing the buildup of dark data in the repository or storage rooms by establishing efficient indexing and retention practices for easy access and disposal of business content.

Learn more about the Business Content management capabilities of OspynDocs

Read about the client from Automotive Industry utilizing OspynDocs for efficient Archival Management

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