Unstructured Data is the Elephant in the Room

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As organizations continue to become increasingly overwhelmed with data files, the elephant in the room is unstructured data. And the problem seems to be getting out of hand

As organizations continue to become increasingly overwhelmed with data files, the elephant in the room is unstructured data. And the problem seems to be getting out of hand.According to a December 15 survey conducted by Coveo of more than 100 executives at the Argyle Executive Forum 2011 Customer Care Leadership Forum, the majority of customer care executives believe their organizations' success managing unstructured content and sharing it across their staffs will impact their ability to serve customers, but few feel they're handling the job well.

- In fact, 84 percent said their companies' management of unstructured content will determine how effectively and efficiently they'll be able to serve customers.

- 7 percent of respondents felt their organizations do "very well" at bringing together useful customer, product and project data from all sources and sharing it among product development, marketing, and customer service staffs.

- 98 percent said "immediacy" within their organizations is either a "somewhat-critical" or "mission-critical" priority.

- 87 percent consider it "very important" to share near real-time integrated data between product management, customer service, and sales in their organizations.

- 66 percent said their organizations either can't bring together customer, product, and project data from all sources and share it or are trying to share but are facing challenges.

Despite these hurdles, a number of survey respondents indicated that their organizations recognize the importance of unstructured data and are making progress toward addressing the issue. With 59 percent saying that they either currently have an initiative to combine social media data with enterprise data and customer interactions across all channels or are planning one in 2012, the coming year looks like a promising one where data management leaders may finally address the elephant in the room.

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