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Understanding the Value of Unstructured Data

Posted by Patrick Holden on Apr 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Everyone has heard about how fast data growth is expanding in our world the past few years. More and more data is being generated, and organizations are being asked to retain that data for longer periods of time. The reason for this data explosion should not be a mystery, as there are multiple popular modern technologies that are at the heart of it. We live in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), where a dizzying array of machines, devices, and endpoints are connected to the internet and actively collecting, creating, and sharing more and more data.

Compounding matters is the growth of social media, which allows for anyone on the planet to have a voice and potentially go viral for any random product experience or business review that they post. Then we have the rise of mobile apps, which exist today for everything from ridesharing, to fitness tracking, group chat, navigation, and of course for any type of retail purpose that you can imagine.

It should be no surprise, then, that a recent IDC white paper predicted that the world’s “Global StorageSphere” will grow from 33 to 175 Zettabytes by the year 2025. To put that into perspective, that’s about 175 million Petabytes! Now of course that is the entire world’s data footprint, but you could glean a certain amount of insight from that predicted growth rate and apply it to one’s own data footprint and realize that this type of exponential growth is going to require significant changes to how businesses store, secure, protect, and utilize their data.

Another IDC white paper predicted that in five years, about 80% of all data worldwide will be “unstructured.” Again, this is a worldwide data prediction, but I would argue that for the vast majority of my customers, unstructured data easily exceeds this 80% threshold. The main drivers of this explosion of unstructured data are the previously mentioned modern technologies like IoT devices, social media, and mobile applications.

The term unstructured data has been around for years and is nothing new, but how this type of data is being generated, stored, accessed, and analyzed is where we have really seen a bit of a revolution of late in the modern enterprise data center.

What exactly is unstructured data (also known as qualitative data)? How is it different from structured data (also known as quantitative data)? What are the latest trends and inherent challenges businesses need to be aware of concerning unstructured data? There are many misconceptions out there as to what the key differences are between the two data classifications that I would like to clarify early on in this blog series. I will also discuss the new challenges facing organizations today concerning unstructured data, some of the latest trends like object storage that our industry is seeing gain more and more traction, and why it is becoming more critical than ever for businesses to be able to understand and extract value from their unstructured data.

Check back soon for part two of this blog series, where we will dive further into structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data — or access the full unstructured data white paper below. 



have you taken advantage of unstructured data's value to your business?

C1-Unstructured-Data-White-Paper-1

This ConvergeOne white paper will answer the following questions:

  • What exactly is unstructured data (also known as qualitative data)?
  • How is it different from structured data (also known as quantitative data)?
  • What are the latest trends and inherent challenges businesses need to be aware of concerning unstructured data?

Download the white paper to learn why it is becoming more critical than ever to extract value from unstructured data.

DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER

Topics: Data Center