Why should I talk about big data in the ECM blog? Well, why shouldn?t I?
Big Data is clearly oversold. It is clearly hyped up to the point where it has set expectations way high that the October 2013 AIIM industry watch report on Big Data and content analytics rated over-hyped senior management expectations as one of the top 5 issues facing big data initiatives! In my opinion the current buzz has ignited the imaginations of so many organizations and its people about the potential of deriving value out of data that was considered to be unusable or hard to use so far. The current big data tools let organizations manage the data dimensions of volume, velocity, and variety. Though with decreasing levels of effectiveness in the order they are listed above.
The current level of big data initiatives are majorly aimed at handling volumes of structured data.However there is a small but growing set of initiatives that revolves around making sense out of the vast amount of unstructured content out there. The term big content refers to applying big data techniques to unstructured content. Big content initiatives are a lot harder as they pose challenges on the variety dimension of big data.
There has been a tremendous explosion of external and internal long-form content growth over the years in the forms of blogs, tweets, social media updates, presentations, white papers, videos, audio etc. Add the traditional paper-based content and office documents to it, one will get an idea of what we are tackling. The number one big data challenge as analyzed by AIIM in the aforementioned industry watch report is that the content is spread across too many places. Other major concerns included that the data is dirty or not well-organized, not capturing the data needed, and hard to find the data needed. In summary about 65% of the survey respondents felt that their unstructured content is chaotic. The survey finds that more than one-third of the respondents felt that big data analysis will be an essential capability for their businesses. This is a growing trend and it keeps pace with the hype about big data in general.
What this means is that there is a good ECM opportunity under the big data/big content hood out there.Managing content effectively is a prerequisite for deriving value out of it. Effective metadata management and content analytics go very far in gaining insights out of the vast mounds of content out there.