Too many organizations live with the productivity drain of searching for information, or worse, pass up the opportunity to tap into the value of their unstructured data using artificial intelligence (AI) to search, manage and organize data.
From email and photos to multimedia files and documentation, managing unstructured data in the digital age is a common problem for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Colleagues send and resend emails to provide the same information—sometimes only days apart—because searching for information is time consuming.
Content that resides outside of databases, known as unstructured data, may reside in a wide variety of systems and applications. Accessing and searching that data to find relevant information draws out research time, stalls customer service, product development and troubleshooting efforts, responses to major IT incidents, and even updates to executive presentations and procedural data.
There is no area of a business that can’t benefit from easier and more targeted access to information and every business can benefit from putting unstructured data to work for them.
What is Unstructured Data?
Unstructured data is digital information which can’t easily be mapped into pre-defined data models like databases with designated fields. Customer and employee lists are common examples of structured data which can be separated into fields like customer/employee ID number, address, telephone and email.
Examples of unstructured data are text, images, audio, videos, or sensor data. Unstructured data can be human or machine generated. It could include metadata, text documents, presentations, health records, web pages, and freeform text survey responses. It is estimated that unstructured data represents 80-90% of all data.
How AI Helps Manage Unstructured Data
Organizations are spending money storing data they are not using because it's not accessible. Why not put that data to use to reduce expenses throughout the organization and even generate revenue from it.
There are a variety of use cases from customer analytics to predictive maintenance. One example is to use AI to look for patterns and trends in unstructured engineering notes in order to improve operational processes. Another example is using AI to mine customer experience feedback to help business leaders understand the voice of the customer to accurately target customer outreach. Similarly, businesses can analyze reviews and even social media posts to personalize advertising.
Making Unstructured Data Work For You
How do you make your unstructured data work for you? Where do you start? First, identify the use case(s) that will benefit your business. Some common use cases for using unstructured data are:
- Using Text Analytics to discover patterns and create optimized experiences for customers
- AI powered content mining
- AI powered Intelligent search
- Automate data discovery, quality, and governance
- Intelligent data cataloging
- Preserving organizational knowledge
Many businesses are using Virtual Assistants to reduce wait times and improve their customer care experience. Industry leaders are taking the next step in improving the customer care experience with AI powered intelligent search.
Another example is a marketing team building a data model from voice of the customer/customer experience data. The results from the analysis then inform decisions on targeting communications, advertising, discounts or promotional pricing and outreach.
Employing AI to leverage unstructured data has cascading benefits to an organization’s bottom line. Using AI and data science as the foundation for strategic business decisions gives businesses a significant competitive advantage.
Start putting your unstructured data to work for you, contact LPA today or schedule your Unstructured Data Assessment.