Business Intelligence Blog

This is how you put Dark Data back in the spotlight!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Everyone loves data. The number of visitors on your websites, leads in the pipeline, the current production figures, and completed deliveries; we like to keep track of everything. Plus, nowadays, there’s a tool to measure virtually everything. But when no one puts that collected data to good use, you’re just collecting so-called Dark Data. That’s a waste of effort and money, and it can even pose a security risk, as you are unaware of what kind of information you actually possess. That’s why you should put Dark Data in the spotlight with Netpresenter!

There are three types of company data. First, there is critical business data. This data is essential for the continuity of business processes. Think of customer data, financial administration, operational statistics, or employee data. Without it, your organization literally cannot function. The second category is the ROT data: data that is either redundant, obsolete, or trivial. The third category includes all data that is not critical business data but isn’t classified as ROT data either: this is your Dark Data.

Hard to unlock

But what is Dark Data? That’s impossible to say because it hasn’t been identified yet. It’s a mysterious black box. Maybe it’s just ROT data, but there could also be very valuable or even business-critical knowledge hidden in this large pile of information. We are talking about a lot of data here: according to IBM, Dark Data comprises about 90% of all the data we collect.

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Dark Data usually becomes dark due to a lack of resources to unlock the information. Organizations either have too much data to analyze or don’t grant the right people access to the data. If only one person has access to a system or environment where the data is stored, the extent to which that person unlocks the valuable data and brings it to colleagues is crucial. But make no mistake, you can also share too much. When reports are sent haphazardly to multiple people, you’ll create different versions of the same report, only adding to the already huge pile of Dark Data. It will also become increasingly difficult to access the most actual info.

Untapped source of opportunity 

That Dark Data is a drag on any organization. For one thing, it takes up a lot of storage space while producing nothing. It also poses a potential security risk: who knows what kind of information is hidden among your Dark Data. Perhaps it contains sensitive business data or personal data. If you don’t have sight of that, you can’t adequately secure it. 

But above all: Dark Data is a source of new opportunities! The unused data can lead to new insights. Perhaps in another department, or perhaps only after the data has been combined with other data. But as long as it remains Dark Data, it’s not going to bring you anything anyway.  

Unlock your Dark Data

It doesn’t have to be complicated to unravel Dark Data and put it in the spotlight. For example, you can show the data automatically via a corporate screensaver at workstations or on several large screens with digital signage. Our customer Hoenderdaal Fasteners did just that. They chose to gather their data in Power BI and display those dashboards directly and live on digital signage screens. And with success.  

“Our employees are very excited that the dashboards can now be seen live in every department, providing insights into the company data and eliminating the need for employees to search for data themselves,” says Tristan Hoogmoed, ICT Support Engineer at Hoenderdaal Fasteners, about the integration with Power BI and Netpresenter. Because all data is displayed in real-time, employees can anticipate the figures and work proactively. Collected data is used right away.  

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By making dashboards public, you reduce the accumulation of Dark Data in several ways:

  • You leave less data unused;
  • You make data available to more departments and employees;
  • You combine data from different departments and sources, making it more valuable; 
  • You create a central place for the data. You no longer have to send reports and spreadsheets to coworkers, reducing the number of duplicate and outdated versions.

Would you also like to put your Dark Data in the spotlight and seize new opportunities? Have a talk with our consultants to see which solution fits your organization. Or download this free infographic and discover what business intelligence can do for your organization.

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Dave Schmeitz

Dave is Netpresenter's Online Marketing Manager. He likes to share his knowledge about engaging and inspiring employees. Dave also loves to travel and dance L.A. style Salsa and Bachata.