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Unstructured data is free-form information. There is no data model or schema that defines how it is to be organized or formatted. Unstructured data is often text-heavy. Good examples of unstructured data include office documents, PDF files and emails.
A recent survey by Osterman Research found that about 85 percent of the data managed by the average company is unstructured data. The report also found that, on average, large and medium sized companies have about 20 terabytes of unstructured data and that the amount of unstructured data increases by about 20 percent every year.
Other findings from the report include:
- Half of the organizations surveyed said that they had already put an information governance plan in place
- About half of companies say that they have a plan to regularly scrub their file shares
- 75 percent of businesses who have information governance plans say they can justify the program based on storage savings
Based on my experience though, these numbers seem high. Companies that scrub their file shares are anomalies.