Analytics can create business differentiators, if the tools are effective, and information is proactively managed. And what organization doesn’t want to improve performance? If you are working with structured data, the process becomes much easier. With unstructured data, ah well, that’s a different story.
Your unstructured data contains value and insights, but can also be used against you for non-compliance and litigation. As I see it, the bottom line is to clean it up and get rid of it. That’s the hard part. Not many folks want to be responsible for permanently deleting information – regardless of the fact that it contains no value and never will. Most retention schedules will archive information, few follow strict guidelines on when to delete the information. It’s a tough sale to get consensus from the different functional groups such as legal, records management, marketing, etc. to delete potentially masses of information. Keeping information that has no value just in case is not a sound business decision.
What happens to your analytics in this case? I would argue that it would be a monumental task to separate the wheat from the chaff to gain the insights that are buried in the morass of content. Effective analytics has to start with information governance. Just in case you need it, doesn’t cut it as far as I am concerned. What do you think?