Deep within your organization lies an assortment of data that is difficult or expensive to access. This dark data isn’t malicious or useless. It’s simply data that is either difficult to access, not readily available for use in your business applications, or a combination of both.
The reason that this data is difficult to access, transform, and load is because it is not readily available to business users using traditional business intelligence (BI) extraction methods. Until you extract the data, you cannot analyze it or use it for decision-making purposes.
However, should you access this data, you will be able to discover new patterns and insights that can help your business make better decisions. Let’s take a closer look at dark data — and how you can use the power of BI applications to make this data work for you.
Data is dark for a variety of reasons
There are three primary reasons why this hidden data has remained in the shadows:
1. The data doesn’t exist anywhere else
There are many reasons why data might not exist elsewhere in your organization.
The most common reason is that the data was created from a transactional application rather than an analytical one. In these cases, the developers of these applications don’t have systems in place to load this newly created transaction data for use in other applications.
2. The data is stored in different locations
The data may also reside in different locations within your organization.
This means that the data exists in multiple formats and databases, making it difficult to mine for new insights and patterns with traditional reporting tools, such as spreadsheets.
Even if you could access the data, the time and effort required to extract, transform, and load the data can be burdensome for your organization.
3. The data doesn’t exist anymore
Another reason you might not have access to this data is that it’s simply gone.
The transactional applications that created the data may no longer exist, or your business may have restructured and integrated your applications into a more centralized environment.
In either case, the data is simply no longer available, and you will need to use alternate methods of discovering this information.
Here are some examples of how you can extract information from your dark data with BI tools:
You can transform data that was not previously accessible and upload it into a centralized repository where the user community readily has access.
You can combine different datasets stored in the same database but were previously separated by partitions.
You can access data from multiple heterogeneous databases to create a single source of truth for your business users.
You can discover data you didn’t know existed, potentially turning a hidden liability into a valuable asset.
These are just some examples of what you can accomplish with BI tools when you tap into your dark data. And once you bring this hidden treasure into the light, you will have a more complete picture of what’s going on within your organization and gain a competitive advantage.
The benefits of bringing dark data to light
Have you always wanted to access your organization’s hidden treasure but haven’t known where to start?
If so, then now is the perfect time for you to discover the power of dark data with business intelligence tools. Here are just some of the benefits that you can expect from using BI tools:
Why? Because they’ll have better overall visibility into the business, making it easier for them to make decisions based on accurate information.
This will enable these organizations to drive more predictable results while gaining a crucial competitive edge in the market.
2. Get more done
Using BI tools allows you to get more done in less time.
Because your business users will have access to more accurate, timely information within a centralized environment, they’ll be able to make more informed decisions with the data that’s readily available.
Less time will be spent on ETL and more time on extracting useful insights from your data. As a result, you can accomplish more each day while working on new projects, which will drive greater business value for years to come.
3. Improve data quality
In addition to getting more done in less time, BI tools can help ensure that your data is accurate and complete.
With BI tools, you can access and upload new data into a centralized repository where everyone is working from a single source of truth. As a result, this will improve overall data quality while reducing costs associated with rework.
4. Enjoy business intelligence anywhere, anytime, on any device
In addition to being easy to implement and use, BI tools are also very flexible in the sense that they allow business users to access their data from anywhere at any time using just about any type of device.
As technology continues to advance, BI tools will continue to evolve and draw even more information from dark data sources.
These advancements include the ability for these tools to automatically transform the data into a format that can be used by business users and automated discovery of new insights and patterns with this previously unavailable data.
These are just some of the benefits that BI tools have to offer when you’re looking for insights within your dark data. And, as more people can gain insight into their businesses using these tools, they will be better equipped to make these critical decisions and take their companies to the next level.
When you bring your dark data into the light, it can positively impact your business overall, so why wait to take advantage of these benefits?
Business intelligence tools can help you improve your productivity, boost your customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The time to act is now—so contact an experienced BI solutions provider today to get started!
Check out some related resources:
Data Never Sleeps 9.0
Data Integration Solutions: The key to a successful operation
A guide to data federation: Everything you need to know
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