Organizations generate both structured data (such as name, address, contact number) and unstructured data (text, images, videos, and audio). Most of the time, organizations use structured data to analyze market trends or manage their inventory. On the other hand, you cannot store unstructured data in a usual row-column spreadsheet or database.
Thus, unstructured data is not easy to search and more difficult to analyze. However, the bulk of data today is unstructured, and more enterprises now give additional value to unstructured data, which they generate daily. Unfortunately, in its original format — image, audio, video, or text — it is challenging to extract, organize, and analyze without a data management platform.
Unstructured data at a glance
Your company’s success depends on structured and unstructured data. When you have structured data, you are using organized data that integrates seamlessly with your company’s relational databases. It is clear and concise, so the information is easy to understand.
With unstructured data, you get qualitative information, which helps you in creating predictive analytics. For example, unstructured data is more helpful in creating chatbots.
When you say unstructured data, you refer to the following:
- Text files such as chatbot interactions, customer reviews, survey results, and emails.
- Video and image files, including employee presentations, product images, and video testimonials.
- Audio files like sales calls, customer services calls, and voice mails.
- Social media data including group posts, mentions, hashtags, and comments.
- Webpage data such as reviews, updates, and blogs.
- Public data like job ads, marketing materials, and press releases.
- Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data such as social responsibility policies, case studies, sustainability predictions, and reports.
One critical use for unstructured data is customer analytics. If you can integrate unstructured data from various sources, it will be easier to find patterns in the information. You will gain the business intelligence to help you make quick decisions to improve your relationships with your customers.
However, extracting vital information from unstructured data presents a challenge. It requires a robust solution that can sift through the data, extract vital insights, and create accurate and relevant analyses. This feature is crucial, considering that the market estimate is that by 2025, unstructured data will reach 80 percent. Therefore, it is essential to start analyzing unstructured data now.
Benefits to enterprises of all sizes
- Better business insights. You get several types of information from unstructured data, including customer sentiments about your company or brand, market trends, competitors, or your brand’s performance. It can help you understand your customers better and even gain more information about your niche market. These types of information are not quantifiable, but they are vital insights that can help you improve your business processes and brand strategies or make business decisions based on new information.
- Opportunities for innovation. With better insights into market and industry trends, you will have more opportunities to innovate. By understanding your customers, your business, or your market sector, you have a higher chance to improve. You can find ways to meet customer expectations and identify gaps in the market, which you can fill with new services or products. Likewise, you will be in a better position to anticipate changes and make adjustments, whether in your marketing approaches, product development, or customer service.
- Enhance customer experience. Unstructured data lets you know who your customers are, what they need, and what influences them to buy. You will know what appeals to them and why they prefer one type of product to another. Unstructured data gives you the ideas and the answers on how to enhance customer experience. You know which pages they visit, where they stay the longest, and how often they visit your website. In addition, you have the opportunity to monitor and extract vital insights from emails, social media comments, customer service chats, and phone calls.
- Marketing intelligence. You will have a gold mine of marketing intelligence with unstructured data. You can extract plenty of information describing patterns in customer behavior, and the types of services or products that are more attractive to customers. The insider information is perfect for product development and creating new marketing strategies and ad campaigns.
Your company’s success depends on valuable information, and unstructured data will provide you with information that you cannot get from traditional sources. However, using both structured and unstructured data together will give you a broader viewpoint on the direction you want your company to take.