What is dark data? And how is it costing you?

Today, companies are collecting as much data as they possibly can in order to develop new business insights. But two problems arise. Firstly, it becomes very difficult for organizations to truly utilize all of the data that they are storing and, secondly, they end up storing heaps of unnecessary data. So what is dark data? Well, it is exactly this-  data that you are storing, but not using.

52% of organizations’ data is dark

Considering the fact that organizations are collecting vast amounts of files, it is only natural that they are not using all of them. But the number is higher than you might think. According to a 2016 study by Veritas, wherein 22 countries feature, 52% of organizations’ data is dark and “beneath the line of sight of senior management”. This is more than half. It goes on to further state that 33% of all data is redundant, and therefore unnecessary. This leaves a meager 15% that is defined as “business critical”.

Identify your dark data

Storing dark data leads to large unneeded costs. These come in the form of storing costs as well as the opportunity cost of missing out on valuable information. In order to reduce these, i.e. determine whether the data should be deleted or put to use, you need to identify this dark, unstructured data. The best way to do this is to improve the data governance of your organization. Read more about data governance here.

This need to identify hidden data does not only apply to dark data. Companies also need to pay attention to their ROT data (redundant, obsolete and trivial data) as well as certain types of structured data that they are using without added value.  Ultimately, the types of data to avoid include:

  • Unstructured and valuable
  • Only partially used
  • Structured and worthless

By getting a glimpse behind the scenes of your data solution you will be to make full use of the intelligence that is available to you.