According to IDC, unstructured data comprises up to 80% of all enterprise storage, and yet it is hardly ever analyzed. That’s because unstructured data includes anything not in a database and encompasses many different file types, like word documents, spreadsheets, audio, video and information output by IoT devices.

Unfortunately, there’s no standard for how these documents are saved or organized, and because each file contains different types of metadata, many companies can’t find data quickly and efficiently. That lack of insights translates to direct costs for your company, in the form of inefficient data retrieval, excess storage costs, increased cybersecurity risks, employees using outdated information, and missed business opportunities. Automation can help you avoid the pitfalls of letting this data pile up and make sense out of your unstructured data.

5 Ways Ignoring Unstructured Data Could Cost You

1. Lack of Insight

If you want to derive useful information from your data, you need to be able to feed it into your business intelligence tools. BI software expects a certain kind of input for each of its KPIs, but when data lacks structure, it doesn’t readily fit into a BI system. If you ignore your unstructured data, your BI won’t be nearly as complete as it could be.

Intelligent Automation from Aparavi helps your analysts take disorganized data and harmonize it quickly. By providing your company with a powerful search tool that can parse any and all files on your servers by scanning the file metadata and content, you can find what you are looking for so you can take action on the data.

2. Excess Storage Costs

It’s tempting to think that data you don’t use doesn’t have much of an impact on your company. But unused, ignored data is not neutral. It doesn’t just sit there free of charge. You pay for each byte in terms of data storage.

Whether you have data stored on your own physical infrastructure or you’ve opted to upload everything to cloud storage, your data has a real calculable cost. If you let the data pile up, little by little it’ll grow until it becomes a huge unwieldy data swamp. Once that happens, you’ll then need to stop what you’re doing, process it, and decide what’s worth keeping and what’s not.

Automation with data discovery tools can help you find unused data so that you can quickly determine whether it needs to be kept or not. You can also avoid making redundant backups of unused data so as not to compound the problem.

3. Increased Data Breach Risk

Do you know what data your organization is capturing from your customers and employees? As data privacy laws continue to expand, you need to be more aware of what data you’re gathering. Negligence is no longer an excuse. Laws like the CCPA are likely to appear in other states this year, and federal legislation may be developed as the new congress takes over.

Breaches have been on the rise since more people have been working remotely. Employees no longer work exclusively within the confines of the company, where stricter IT protocols can be implemented and enforced. This creates more gaps in your company’s armor, and cybercriminals are eager to take advantage of the opportunity.

Breaches can cost you millions of dollars. If you don’t pay attention to all the data your company gathers, you may not even realize it’s been stolen until it’s too late. Using Data Automation from Aparavi, you can not only find these ignored files, but you can adjust permissions quickly so that only your most trusted personnel have access.

4. Reduced Employee Productivity

This detail especially applies to your data analysts, but it extends to the rest of your organization as well. Leaving your data in an unstructured state creates more work for analysts when they eventually do have to process it. It also creates confusion when employees are searching for data.

Various sources claim that analysts spend anywhere from 20-50% of their time searching for the data they need. Some analyst surveys even report higher numbers. Facilitating data discovery is crucial to a smooth data analysis process. Aparavi helps with its powerful search tools and automated tagging ability.

5. Missed Opportunities

Intelligently using your unstructured data provides opportunities for your business to make money and save money. You can identify new approaches to your internal processes that can be more efficient. Analyzing the way employees and consumers use devices can help you identify new business opportunities. But all of these opportunities are limited or lost entirely when you leave data in the dark.

Make no mistake, your competitors are looking for ways to use all of the data at their disposal to optimize their business practices, increase revenue and decrease costs. If you’re ignoring unstructured data just because it doesn’t neatly fit into your system, you’re going to be left behind. Use Aparavi to find and organize this data faster so that you can put it to use.

Contact us to Book a Demo and find out how our powerful platform can turn disorganized data into data gold.