Dark Content and the Search for Gold
Interesting term for the content in your organization that remains unfound, unused, and forgotten. Did you ever find a document like that? That you didn’t even know existed, and it was the exact piece of information you were looking for? Eureka! Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between.
How much content that resides in organizations can be defined as dark content? Quite a bit I would imagine. There’s quite a bit of dark content on my laptop alone. Perhaps erroneously, I assume most organizations just keep it and let it continue to grow out of control. Similar to organizations that have no formal email archiving process. And so, dark content continues to grow out of control.
From a different perspective, how much gold is in that dark data? Probably most of it is no longer relevant, needed, or useful. But at one time, the information was used to make decisions, steer the organization into, or away from, turbulent times, and was used to make day-to-day business decisions.
Migration is a perfect opportunity to find dark content, although I have probably just made IT irate by making the process even worse. Even without the onerous task of migration, dark content is waiting to be found, used, or deleted. Using automatic semantic metadata generation, auto-classification and taxonomies, dark content is relatively straightforward to identify, although human intervention is required for those tricky pieces of content that no one wants to keep and no one wants to delete.
Even with tools, it seems like a lot of effort to clean up the dark content. Maybe it is. I have seen estimates as high as 69% of corporate data can and should be deleted. That’s a lot of dark content.
Is it worth it to clean-up dark content and re-use it or delete it? At some point, organizations won’t have any choice but to bring it into the light. Does dark content and the inability to find useful information impact business decisions? WDYT?