Why is it important to manage “unstructured data” in your organisation ?
What are the differences between structured and unstructured data ?
Structured data is usually stored in a database, in labeled information fields and is easily searched for using a query i.e. a customer information system in which you can search by customer name or number.
Unstructured data may have a structure such as an email, but the information contained in the email has no structure, and is difficult to find unless there is a method for indexing and storing this information.
Examples of “unstructured data” are:
- Paper based information or records
- Audio recording such as that from a Call Centre phone logs
- Blogs, Tweets, SMS text messages, faxes
What are some reasons for needing to store and retrieve and analyse unstructured data?
- To answer a media, ministerial or management query.
- To analyse the performance of your organisation or business and make better decisions.
- Legal compliance
- Customer complaint handling
- Quality management
- To make decision on pricing, staffing, location of branches or offices or outlets
What should a plan for managing unstructured data cover?
- An information lifecycle strategy and roadmap.
- A recordkeeping strategy and roadmap (what information should you store and what to discard.
- Plus how long should you store it?)
- Details on how to integrate the new approach into your organisation and make it operable.
- Identify data sources and repositories.
- Set out storage needs and strategies.
- Define formats, indexes and language (taxonomy)
- Enable compliant retention and disposal in systems
- Plan for migration of data or content to new solutions.
- Strategies for data access using techniques and tools for data mining and analytics.
Be aware of the relevant NZ and international standards
Relevant international standards are to be found at:
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- The International Congress of Archives (ICA)
- The European Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records (MoReq)
- The United States Department of Defence 5015.2-STD Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications (DoD 5015.2).
New Zealand standards are:
- Archives NZ Digital Recordkeeping Systems (DRS) standard
- (itself an adoption of the following ICA/ISO standards)
- ISO TR 23081-3 Information and documentation — Managing metadata for records — Part 3: Self-assessment method.
- “N800R1 Where to start – advice on creating a metadata schema or application profile v8 Functions”
- ISO 15489 Information and documentation – Records management.
Use Knoware’s experienced team to make progress in managing and using unstructured data.
- We have worked on developing and using the ISO standards
- Our team has presented papers on this subject for example at the International Council on Archives Congress and the NZ Computer Society.
- We work with NZ Archives and understand the direction that government is heading towards.
- Our analytics and data mining specialists are experienced in helping organisations find answers using tools and techniques for both unstructured and structured information.