Data, indeed, is the new oil—transformative, immensely powerful and a driver of business. But just like oil in its crude form, raw data in itself is useless, which means it must be first processed into something usable for an organisation to yield the benefits of having it in the first place. That isn’t a problem with structured data, also called quantitative data, which is extremely organised and easy to decipher using a programming language such as structured query language.
Things get a bit trickier when it comes to unstructured data, which is, taking the above analogy, equivalent to crude oil—raw, unprocessed, relatively unusable. But if you can manage unstructured data correctly and turn it into its useful form, you will be able to use it as a competitive advantage in an already cutthroat business landscape today. That is more important when you consider the anticipated explosion in terms of the amount of data that will be produced in the coming years:
That increase is so exponential that the amount of unstructured data being produced is said to be growing by an average of 55–65% annually, resulting in a growth trajectory that looks like this:
Read our interactive Special Focus Feature article, to learn more about unstructured data and how to manage it so that you can take full advantage of it.