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70 percent of business and technology professionals told AIIM that they have an idea for a ‘killer application’ based on Big Data that could be used to provide significant competitive advantage or cost savings to their company. Despite their ideas though, the number of companies that are actively using Big Data is small. Only 7 percent say that their companies have made investments in analytics tools for processing unstructured data, and another 7 percent say that their plan is to get to Big Data over the next couple of years.
One challenge that needs to be overcome before businesses can more widely begin employing Big Data technologies is to be able to extract more meaning from their unstructured data sets. 56 percent of companies say that it would be “very valuable”, and 18 percent say it would be “hugely valuable” to apply sophisticated analytics to unstructured data. The types of analysis that companies would like to do include pattern analysis, keyword correlation, incident protection and fraud prevention.
Companies complain that their structured and unstructured data repositories are disjointed. 61 percent say that it would be very useful if they could link the data between unstructured and structured data sets.
In particular, unstructured data is the area where companies feel the most pain. 26 percent of companies describe their efforts towards organizing unstructured data as “somewhat chaotic”; 35 percent said that their efforts in organizing unstructured data was not well controlled or indexed; and 19 percent say that their organizations were only organizing unstructured data in certain parts of the business.
Doug Miles, director of market intelligence at AIIM, said that ”Business managers should ask blue-sky ‘if only we knew’ questions about the business before thinking about how it can be done and at what cost. If you play those questions against the data you already have, data you could collect or data that you could source elsewhere, it will enable you to make the best use of your Big Data investment.”