Data strategy for unstructured data is the next challenge

Author: Gayle Sheppard, James Kirk (

Categories: Big Data & Data Analytics, Digital Strategy, Digital Trends
Tags: databases, Fortune, Global
Data strategy is increasingly important for organising the vast amounts of data that companies have, as Gayle Sheppard explains in this TV show.

Data Strategy for decision making

Well, companies have a long way to go in capturing unstructured textual data. Companies have done a pretty good job of capturing structured, transactional data. Relational databases, data warehouses, have evolved to help them organize data so it can be analyzed in traditional ways. I think the big challenge for companies in the future is really -- maybe there are three elements to it, actually. One is that there are so many mergers and acquisitions that have transpired across the Fortune or Global 1,000 that there are many databases or data warehouses that contain information. And they are treasure troves of information. But integrating them or bringing them together in any way that makes sense is very challenging for corporations. It's very expensive to do it. It takes a lot of time. And these databases are filled with disparate ways of describing things. So the challenge is quite great. How do we bring all of this data together? So, that's the first challenge. The second challenge I see in corporate America is how do we take advantage of all the text that we have? Customers write us. They send us messages on the web. We capture notes about our customers, our partners, our suppliers, employees. We have emails rich with information coming in from outside as well as inside the company about what's happening, whether it's customer-related or employer-related. And so how do you take all of that information and make it part of the knowledge base? Not just transactions. Who bought from us, who do we sell to. Who was the supplier that we used in this particular situation. But the comments that actually capture experiences that we're having in real time with our partners, suppliers, and customers is truly an important part of the knowledge of a corporation. And companies haven't figured out how to use that yet. That's one of the things that Saffron helps them with, but that's challenge number two. All that textual information inside our company. And then challenge number three is, how do we then go out to the web, how do we go to the resources we have available to us, whether it's open source news or blogs or other social networks, and capture the essence of that experience into our corporate knowledge base, so we can also use that information as part of our decision making process.   Connected Economy TV is very interested in new data strategy for the digital world, explore our channel for more discussion.
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