Why Dark Data Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly

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For enterprises to keep up with the impending surge of data—most of which will be unstructured—they must first understand what dark data is and how it will affect their operations. Gaining that knowledge is the first step toward developing a set of data management processes that will “light up” and extract value from more data. There is a pressing need to do so. Today, 80% of all data is dark and unstructured, John Kelly, senior vice president and director of IBM, recently told attendees of his company’s third Cognitive Colloquium. “We can’t read it or use in our computing systems. By 2020, that number will be 93%.” The annual IBM conference explores the changeover from linear, von Neumann computing to a compute architecture that better mimics the working of the human brain, like IBM’s Watson. In this slideshow, Kevin Petrie, senior director of Product Marketing at data management firm Attunity, defines dark data and offers insight into why dark data goes unused, how to identify it and—most importantly—how to begin to put it to good use.