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From Insights to Action: How C-Suite Leaders Can Harness the Power of Unstructured Data 

March 20, 2024

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From Insights to Action: How C-Suite Leaders Can Harness the Power of Unstructured Data 

The success of any business in today’s data-driven world significantly depends on its ability to gather and effectively leverage data. While many businesses are familiar with managing structured data in their daily operations, the vast potential of unstructured data often goes unnoticed. This oversight is noteworthy, especially considering that research suggests around 80 percent of the data generated in the business world is unstructured.¹ 

This article will guide you through understanding unstructured data and its crucial role in transforming your organization. 

Structured vs Unstructured Data 

Structured data is a term used to describe relational information. Basically, it is information that can be organized into tables. A good example of this is employee records. They are classified under this kind of data because they can be organized into a spreadsheet or table and used effectively in that format. Its unstructured counterpart, on the other hand, is a non-relational type of data. It follows no specific mode of organization. An example of unstructured data would be internal correspondence within the organization via email or social media posts. 

While both forms of data are incredibly important and useful in business analytics, unstructured data holds far more potential than its more organized counterpart. While structured data might contain customer lists, unstructured data might be an inquiry email sent by a specific customer to your Customer Experience team. This example of unstructured data here could potentially revolutionize the way your business runs where that department is concerned, and analytics run using this data could reveal a flaw in your product, service, or the way in which it is marketed. 

Related article: The Ultimate 2024 Toolkit: 7 Enterprise Platforms and Tools You Can’t Miss 

Benefits of Unstructured Data for Your Business 

Below are six of the numerous advantages this data category can offer your business. 

1. Strategic Planning 

Unstructured data, not unlike a spy, gives you precise intel on just about anything: customer sentiment about your product, emerging technology, trending political issues, etc. You can use this information to make highly targeted and effective business decisions.  

One unique feature of unstructured data is that it’s generated in real time, which means you have the flexibility to make on-the-spot decisions or jump on emerging trends. This way, you can easily protect your business from harsh economic weather despite the market’s high volatility rates. 

2. Improved Customer Experience 

Analyzing unstructured data allows you to correctly perceive customer sentiment and get an immediate sense of customer satisfaction. You can truly assess your product or service’s commerciality through social media posts, online reviews, support emails, tickets, and other methods of customer feedback. Then, with this information, you can pivot your product or service as necessary, which keeps your customer base feeling seen, heard, and satisfied. 

3. Research and Development 

Unstructured data is especially important in research and development. Since it covers such a wide range of sources, videos, text, email, and whitepapers, it can give researchers a broad perspective and allow them to explore and address multiple customer pain points. This allows you to innovate more user-centric products and services.  

4. Maintaining a Competitive Edge 

Unstructured data can help generate insights for not just your business, but your competition’s. This means that you can effectively monitor your competition and domicile your business in more strategic market positions. You can monitor news feeds and mine-related text and keep an eye on customer reactions to their own products and services. This arms you with useful knowledge and helps sharpen your business positioning. It allows you to stay on top of technical trends and keep up with, if not ahead of, your competitors. 

5. Strategic Marketing 

Strategic marketing is the most prominent use of unstructured data, particularly when combined with social media platforms. Unstructured data helps you gather valuable insight on customer preferences, and helps you create highly specific and personalized marketing campaigns.  

You can target any demographic and, using media platforms as a tool to decipher your audience’s most popular opinions and strongest beliefs, create marketing strategies that are guaranteed to fly. You can also leverage influencer marketing and use the voices that resonate the strongest with your chosen demographic to market your product or service. 

6. Legal Compliance 

The technological landscape changes fast, with trends emerging and quickly fading. In much the same way, the legal landscape is quickly evolving in a bid to regulate business ethics and processes as humanity evolves. One truly valuable resource to remain well within the boundaries of legal stipulation is unstructured data.  

Using unstructured data, you can monitor news feeds, blogs, government announcements, and other sources of legal updates. This helps keep you informed on legal practices and policy as it concerns your industry and your business and helps you stay out of legal hot water. In addition, unstructured data can also be instrumental in providing data evidence to be used in court proceedings should a legal issue arise in your business. 

Ways to Implement the Value of Unstructured Data 

Having explored the usefulness of unstructured data, here are some tips on successfully implementing its value for your business. 

1. Have a Clearly Defined Objective 

Unstructured data has multiple use cases, and these can vary vastly over industries. Before swinging your team into action, clearly define your goals. Is your main priority to grow your customer base through targeted marketing or maintain your existing customers by increasing customer satisfaction? Do you want to stay ahead of industry trends and beat out your competition or simply generate key insights that will help grow your organization? Answering these questions will help you define a clear roadmap for using and storing your unstructured data. 

2. Invest in the Right Technology 

Since unstructured data cannot be interpreted using typical information processing software, your organization must invest heavily in more sophisticated data processing software. Programs like Hadoop and NoSQL are well suited to processing and storing large amounts of non-relational data. Analytics programs like MonkeyLearn, PowerBI, and Tableau can also help sort through and organize your unstructured data. You can choose to use a data ingestion tool, such as Apache NiFi, to collect your data, or you can choose to store them in data lakes. 

3. Prioritize Data Security 

Unstructured data, usually, is very organic, and it may contain or consist of sensitive information. Taking steps to harness the power of unstructured data will require your business to heavily prioritize data security to properly manage sensitive data and avoid violations of user privacy. 

4. Employee Training 

At the end of the day, being able to properly maximize your unstructured data boils down to the efficiency and productivity of your team. You must equip your staff with both the technology and the skills to manage unstructured data, this is the most certain way to ensure your business enjoys its benefits. This involves organizing employee training, incentivizing employees, and hiring new staff if the need arises. 

Related article: Data-Driven Decision Making: Harnessing ServiceNow and On-Demand Staffing Insights 

REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR DATA STRATEGY WITH RASO360’S EXPERTISE 

At Raso360, we deeply understand the complexities and the immense untapped value in unstructured data. That’s why we step in with technological expertise and specialized staffing solutions that empower your business to maintain a competitive edge. 

Our comprehensive approach integrates cutting-edge technology, robust security measures, and a skilled workforce, ensuring that your team is fully equipped to navigate the subtleties of unstructured data. Partnering with us goes beyond accessing services; it’s about embracing a future where informed, data-driven decisions propel your business to the forefront of innovation and market leadership. 

Experience the Raso360 difference. Connect with us today and embark on a journey towards insightful decision-making and strategic business advancement. 

References 

1 “Possibilities and Limitations of Unstructured Data.” Robert Heeg, 20 Feb. 2023, www.researchworld.com/articles/possibilities-and-limitations-of-unstructured-data

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