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What Is Unstructured Data
And Why Is It So
Important To Businesses?
An Easy Explanation For Anyone
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Title
Text
IntroductionIntroduction
The amount of data generated daily is just mind-boggling. And as much as 90
percent of that data is defined as unstructured data.
But what does that mean and what do you need to know about unstructured
data?
We delve into the details in the following slides.
What Is Unstructured Data
and Why Is It So Important To Businesses?
An Easy Explanation for Anyone
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
What is Unstructured Data?
Data that is defined as unstructured is growing at 55-65 percent each year.
Unstructured data can’t be easily stored in a traditional column-row database or
spreadsheet like a Microsoft Excel table. It’s therefore more difficult to analyse and not
easily searchable, which is why it wasn’t useful for organizations until recent years. Today,
however, we have unstructured data analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI)
that were created specifically to access the insights available from unstructured data.
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Examples of Unstructured Data
Think about any kind of data that doesn’t have a recognizable structure and you have
identified an example of unstructured data. Here are some of the most common examples
of unstructured data:
• Emails: Although emails include date, sender and recipient addresses and subject
information, the text in the body of the mail doesn’t follow a format. Some refer to
emails as semi-structured data.
• Text files
• Photos
• Video files
• Audio files
• Webpages and blog posts
• Social media sites
• Presentations
• Call centre transcripts/recordings
• Open-ended survey responses
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Importance of Unstructured Data
Since the bulk of data generated today is unstructured data, it’s important that
organizations find ways to manage and analyse it so that they can act on the data and
make important business decisions. This helps organizations prosper in highly competitive
environments. If this information is ignored, organizations aren’t using everything that’s
available to them to be successful.
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Unstructured Data Analytics Tools
While organizations have relied on structured data insights for years, it wasn’t until tools
were developed to analyse structured data that the wealth of information unstructured
data contains became accessible and usable to businesses in a meaningful way. Artificial
intelligence algorithms now help extract meaning automatically from the volumes of
unstructured data that is created daily. Businesses use big data tools and software such as
Hadoop to process, mine, integrate, store, track, index and report business insights from
raw unstructured data. Without these tools, it would be impossible for organizations to
efficiently manage unstructured data.
One use case for unstructured data is customer analytics. When companies are able to
integrate unstructured data from a variety of sources such as call centre transcripts, online
reviews of products, chatbot conversations and social media mentions, and use artificial
intelligence to spot patterns in the information from these sources, they have the intel
available to make swift decisions that can improve customer relationships.
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Unstructured Data Analytics Tools
Unstructured data can be a treasure trove of marketing intelligence. With the ability to
quickly scan huge datasets and find patterns in customer behaviour, decision-makers learn
what products or services are most compelling for their target market. This has important
applications for product development as well as figuring out what marketing initiatives are
most worthwhile.
For organizations that are heavily regulated, compliance issues can be costly in time,
money and reputation. With the insight provided by unstructured data when analysing
emails and chatbot conversations, for example, organizations could uncover regulatory
issues earlier and before there is a significant negative business impact. This ability is
made possible by natural language processing, sentiment analysis, pattern recognition,
speech-to-text conversions through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.
To fully realize the potential of unstructured data, organizations need to knock down data
silos in favour of a scalable data hub. By having the systems to store, analyse and report
data from a variety of sources and share it with decision-makers in a business,
organizations can finally uncover the enormous business value of unstructured data.
© 2017 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
© 2018 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a
strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps
organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and
understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data,
blockchains, and the Internet of Things.
LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent
contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day
Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that
reaches millions of readers.
Visit The
Website
© 2017 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
© 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a
strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps
organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and
understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data,
blockchains, and the Internet of Things.
LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent
contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day
Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that
reaches millions of readers.
Visit The
Website
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© 2018 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
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What Is Unstructured Data And Why Is It So Important To Businesses?

  • 1. What Is Unstructured Data And Why Is It So Important To Businesses? An Easy Explanation For Anyone
  • 2. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Title Text IntroductionIntroduction The amount of data generated daily is just mind-boggling. And as much as 90 percent of that data is defined as unstructured data. But what does that mean and what do you need to know about unstructured data? We delve into the details in the following slides. What Is Unstructured Data and Why Is It So Important To Businesses? An Easy Explanation for Anyone
  • 3. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved What is Unstructured Data? Data that is defined as unstructured is growing at 55-65 percent each year. Unstructured data can’t be easily stored in a traditional column-row database or spreadsheet like a Microsoft Excel table. It’s therefore more difficult to analyse and not easily searchable, which is why it wasn’t useful for organizations until recent years. Today, however, we have unstructured data analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that were created specifically to access the insights available from unstructured data.
  • 4. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Examples of Unstructured Data Think about any kind of data that doesn’t have a recognizable structure and you have identified an example of unstructured data. Here are some of the most common examples of unstructured data: • Emails: Although emails include date, sender and recipient addresses and subject information, the text in the body of the mail doesn’t follow a format. Some refer to emails as semi-structured data. • Text files • Photos • Video files • Audio files • Webpages and blog posts • Social media sites • Presentations • Call centre transcripts/recordings • Open-ended survey responses
  • 5. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Importance of Unstructured Data Since the bulk of data generated today is unstructured data, it’s important that organizations find ways to manage and analyse it so that they can act on the data and make important business decisions. This helps organizations prosper in highly competitive environments. If this information is ignored, organizations aren’t using everything that’s available to them to be successful.
  • 6. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Unstructured Data Analytics Tools While organizations have relied on structured data insights for years, it wasn’t until tools were developed to analyse structured data that the wealth of information unstructured data contains became accessible and usable to businesses in a meaningful way. Artificial intelligence algorithms now help extract meaning automatically from the volumes of unstructured data that is created daily. Businesses use big data tools and software such as Hadoop to process, mine, integrate, store, track, index and report business insights from raw unstructured data. Without these tools, it would be impossible for organizations to efficiently manage unstructured data. One use case for unstructured data is customer analytics. When companies are able to integrate unstructured data from a variety of sources such as call centre transcripts, online reviews of products, chatbot conversations and social media mentions, and use artificial intelligence to spot patterns in the information from these sources, they have the intel available to make swift decisions that can improve customer relationships.
  • 7. © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Unstructured Data Analytics Tools Unstructured data can be a treasure trove of marketing intelligence. With the ability to quickly scan huge datasets and find patterns in customer behaviour, decision-makers learn what products or services are most compelling for their target market. This has important applications for product development as well as figuring out what marketing initiatives are most worthwhile. For organizations that are heavily regulated, compliance issues can be costly in time, money and reputation. With the insight provided by unstructured data when analysing emails and chatbot conversations, for example, organizations could uncover regulatory issues earlier and before there is a significant negative business impact. This ability is made possible by natural language processing, sentiment analysis, pattern recognition, speech-to-text conversions through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. To fully realize the potential of unstructured data, organizations need to knock down data silos in favour of a scalable data hub. By having the systems to store, analyse and report data from a variety of sources and share it with decision-makers in a business, organizations can finally uncover the enormous business value of unstructured data.
  • 8. © 2017 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved © 2018 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers. Visit The Website © 2017 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved © 2019 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers. Visit The Website
  • 9. Title Subtitle Be the FIRST to receive news, articles, insights and event updates from Bernard Marr & Co straight to your inbox. Signing up is EASY! Simply fill out the online form and we’ll be in touch! © 2018 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved