Whether you realize it or not, your business collects a mountain of unstructured data every year. Many data analysts state that 80 percent of business information originates in an unstructured format, primarily in text and paper form.
Information hidden away in unstructured data often is harder to analyze and store compared to traditional data. Paper documents, memos, legal briefs, photos, and endless other business files have untapped information that can change the way your organization operates.
Technological advancements for document management and scanning have unlocked the power of unstructured documents and files, putting data to work for your organization.
What is Unstructured Data?
Unstructured data is often stored on paper, text, and multimedia files. Unlike structured electronic documents, unstructured documents can exist in the physical world and are not always digital.
Some common types of unstructured data include:
- Old Photographs
- Microfilm and Microfiche
- Blueprints, Maps & Drawings
- Business Correspondences & Mail
- Legal Filings
- Historical and Archival Records
Since most business data is stored in unstructured formats, the data often contains text-heavy information with no identifiable systems for categorization. Not to mention, unstructured data often can be difficult to understand due to irregularities in the document versions, sloppy handwriting, or age and decay over time.
Structured Data vs. Unstructured Data
Traditional databases and document management systems rely on a pre-defined data model to relay how data should be stored, edited, and accessed. Structured data depends on the schema to adhere to the data model.
Schema makes data analysis straightforward by conforming with different rules for rows and columns. Think of structured data as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with structured data held in pre-defined rows and columns that can be discretely sorted to aggregate data from various resources.
Converting unstructured data to structured data puts your information in the most traditional form of data storage, dating back to the earliest day of database management systems. Once underutilized data can now be seamlessly transitioned into a system that finds and extracts dynamic insights for your business.
Making Data-Driven Business Decisions
While structured data is traditionally easier to process than unstructured data, that doesn’t mean organizations should not leverage the expanding base of irregular data they accumulate on a daily basis.
Unstructured data can be used to complement existing, structured data and reveal insights to customer bases, administration trends, security, and information governance. Today’s data solutions have made huge strides in increasing enterprises’ ability to make data-driven business decisions with cloud storage.
The spreadsheets, documents, presentations, proposals, and materials your employees spend valuable time creating and reading can be used to increase productivity by minimizing human error. Combining structured and unstructured data together allows you to take full advantage of your information by automatically identifying issues, learning desired patterns and accurately replicating once time-consuming tasks.
Data Conversion for Document Understanding
Data conversion allows a seamless transition from traditional databases into the exciting world of digital transformation and document understanding. Implementing a document scanning and management program creates a diverse ecosystem of resources within your organization that unlocks the true power of unstructured data.
Unstructured data from scanned documents can be indexed to classify and tag different document categories and types. Optical character recognition (OCR) ensures documents are correctly organized for quick and easy retrieval. Search information can be integrated with workflow automation software that keeps employees constantly updated on edits and approvals while maintaining compliances with document redaction and access controls.
Key values are identified and a log of ongoing data usage across multiple scanned documents, PDFs, and photo images, is maintained for added document security.
Streamline Text Analysis with OCR Search
As new applications for text analysis of unstructured data are developed, businesses can create new action items to improve processes and customer experience. Regardless of industry, many businesses have applied document understanding to take once-hidden information and put it to work.
Outsourcing your document management program to a secure imaging facility can help you see the full visualization and power of digital transformation for your business. Start leveraging your data with Didlake Imaging.
We help businesses take different components of their data assets and make them maintainable and scalable to technological advancements. Work with Didlake Imaging to handle complex business challenges and unlock the full potential of unstructured data conversion for your organization.
Contact our team to get started.