Businesses struggle to find value in data

Businesses have embraced technologies which help them combat the challenges of dealing with a rising tide of unstructured data swilling around the enterprise in the format of emails, presentations and the like, reports technology market research group IDG. Yet few of those businesses have yet been able to derive business value from that data.

According to IDG, who carried out the research on behalf of database giant Oracle, a quarter of European organisations say they have unstructured content adequately managed. A further 43% say that they are making significant progress in doing so.

However, many business leaders continue to lack access to appropriate information when making business-critical decisions. Over a third believe that the information they need is buried amid mountains of irrelevant data, reports IDG;  27% say that they have too much unstructured data.

The proliferation of unstructured data in recent times means that businesses have had to look more closely at their means of managing such masses of data. Nevertheless, just 21% of those that IDG surveyed have implemented an enterprise-wide document management system; an equal number of respondents said the management of unstructured data was decided at a business-unit level.

As the amount of unstructured information proliferates so too do the sources. Email is identified by the majority (63%) of respondents as the primary type of unstructured content, followed closely by enterprise intranets or portals. The use of instant messaging has also increased the spread of unstructured data. IDG concludes that users are currently more comfortable using methods and sources that are familiar to them rather than potentially complex document management solutions.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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