Information governance: exploring new opportunities

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By Bill Tolson

Big data is here to stay, and with it come huge challenges and opportunities. The amount of data coming into an organisation is daunting. IDC estimates that 2.7 zettabytes (1 ZB = 1 billion terabytes) of digital data is stored around the globe — a 48 per cent increase from 2011. At this rate of growth, the global volume of stored digital data will reach 8 ZB by 2015. That’s a lot of bytes.

Much of this data (an estimated 80–90 per cent) is unstructured — email, document attachments, presentations, spreadsheets and research to name just a few. This type of information doesn’t fit into neat rows or columns within databases.

All of this unmanaged, unstructured data makes analysis difficult. Knowing what data you have and what is of value — without spending hundreds or thousands of hours manually sifting through it — vexes many a chief information officer. On top of this, even if you know what you have, there’s the problem of correlating different data sources effectively to take action: can you see if the customer who emailed you also posted on Facebook and asked you for a response? …

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