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Posted by Pauline Rehri

Is Your Company Overwhelmed by Data? Here’s How to Search

Data created by your company grows by the second while reams of data are stored in silos in different systems. Some of the data is physically located at your company’s office and some of it is in the cloud. Moreover, there are hundreds of different file formats and most of them are not tagged properly. No wonder it takes so long for your employees to find data when they need it - if they find it at all. The result? Your employees can’t make good business decisions - or even do their jobs properly.

Storage and retention are not the problems. Today, companies are getting increasingly better at saving data. Companies save intellectual property data, system-generated data, customer and product information data, data from day-to-day communications, scanned paper documents, and more. That said, research shows that up to 55 percent of all search data is “dark data.” In other words, companies save data, but don’t use it. They’re like hoarders. Instead, it remains stagnant in various devices, applications, and databases.

Which leads us to the question - what good is all this data if you can’t find or properly analyze it?

Data is the new water

You can liken data to water. Your business needs it to survive in today’s competitive business landscape. After all, once analyzed, search data can help businesses in numerous ways. In the banking industry, for instance, data analytics can pinpoint money laundering and other illegal activities. In healthcare, data can drive healthcare reductions while helping patients avoid preventable diseases.

When it comes to business analytics, according to a Qlik/IDC study, three out of four companies that invested in data management and analytics increased their revenue, operational efficiency, and profitability by over 15%. The bottom-line? Data helps you make better business decisions. To be more specific, it helps you learn more about your operations, customers, and general business processes.

All that said, what types of data are most common?

  • Structured data is well-organized data that can be found in spreadsheets, database tables, and CVS tables. However, it may surprise you to learn that it is not always easy to analyze and interpret this type of data
  • Semi-structured data is organized to a degree and can be found in Javascript files, HTML files, and TXT files. It is usually captured by a content management system (CMS).
  • Unstructured data is any information that doesn’t fit neatly into a database, which includes pictures, video, audio files, analog signals, and human speech. Not surprisingly, unstructured data can be difficult to interpret.

How to search data in multiple information systems

According to IDC, your employees, organization, and customers created up to 6.4 zettabytes of data in 2020. By 2025, structured vs unstructured data will be represented by the 80:20 ratio. Thus, 80 percent of all data will be unstructured and therefore much harder to find and analyze. To make matters worse, the quality of the data may be low as well. For example, the data may be inaccurate, incomplete, or simply redundant. This does not make for good decision-making.

On top of that, with the pandemic and many employees working remotely, it has been increasingly hard for employees to find the data they need - when they need it. In fact, a recent Sinequa survey noted that over 60 percent of enterprise employees in the United Kingdom find it more difficult to find data when working remotely. Why? The data is located in different systems and accessing these systems takes longer at home. Moreover, they find it difficult to ask co-workers for help when not in an office environment.

To avoid these types of inefficiencies, it is extremely important to employ one efficient and powerful data search platform. Different systems will make the search experience more difficult for your employees.

The search platform should securely access any content from any type of location. For instance, it should be able to conduct a powerful search regardless of whether it is a cloud app like Slack, a PDF, or a spreadsheet. Machine learning capabilities are a must-have as they will significantly help the user experience improve over time as your company evolves.

Enterprise search extracts valuable insights

A single, powerful enterprise search engine extracts insightful information from your enterprise content and data. This allows employees to find the info they need quickly and efficiently. In turn, your employees can focus their energies more fully on profit-making activities - whether they are working in-house or remotely. They, of course, will be able to make better decisions when they have the most relevant, up-to-date information at their fingertips.

Along similar lines, if your employees can access accurate, real-time information, it can lead to timely innovation. For instance, employees will recognize business opportunities, and armed with relevant insights, your company can gain a first-mover advantage.

Relevant information also allows your employees to be more responsive to your customers’ needs. Having quick access to data can eliminate supply-chain issues and offer better turnaround times. Customer service employees can provide more timely and accurate information to customers as well. In turn, both the customers and the employees benefit as the customers will appreciate the quick feedback while the employees enjoy increased job satisfaction.

An enterprise-wide search tool also reduces redundancy within an organization. For instance, when using the search tool, your employees will no longer waste time duplicating documents or other assets that already exist within your organization. It also can connect individuals and teams working on similar projects. Further, the enterprise search platform allows your business to streamline processes - saving your organization both time and money.

Companies generate massive amounts of data each day - and this data will only continue to increase in the coming weeks, months, and years. While it’s great that more companies recognize the importance of data and consciously save it, this data is only useful if it can be properly analyzed and searched.

Fortunately, there is a powerful way to both find and learn from enterprise data with the use of an enterprise-wide search platform. An enterprise search tool such as Sinequa’s provides companies with valuable insights, saves time and money, and helps companies become more profitable.

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