Today, virtually every business is overwhelmed by data. But of all the kinds of information being created and flowing into organizations, unstructured content is, unsurprisingly, the most difficult to manage.
Composing between 40 and 80% of an organization’s data flow, depending on the size and industry, unstructured data is the fastest-growing type of content, and consists of audio-visual media, webpages, documents, and presentations. In other words, it’s largely material that businesses don’t automatically think of as data, even though it contains massive amounts of critical information … and that’s precisely the problem.
Because unstructured data isn’t simply a spreadsheet of numbers or other easy-to-handle values – which would make it structured data – it’s hard to harness the information these files contain. But it’s not impossible.
If your business is ready to maximize the value of your unstructured data, content management tools can help.
Finding What You Need
Before you can do anything with your unstructured data, your firm will have to take steps to organize it. That can be a challenge when you’re facing a diverse array of file types.
In fact, many platforms can’t handle files beyond basic Microsoft or Google Suites, especially if you have raw content from platforms like Photoshop. However, if you choose an origin-agnostic cloud-based content management platform, you’re more likely to be in a position to rein in content sprawl and manage collaborative projects using unstructured data sources.
Content Creation and Unstructured Data
There are a number of ways to put unstructured data to use, but in the majority of cases, any traditional values like statistics contained in these documents exist somewhere else already. Therefore, what you want to amplify the value of is the creative energy that has gone into these materials.
One of the best ways to do this is by repurposing it. For example, you might convert charts from a presentation into infographics for your blog and create posts that will drive more traffic to your site.
Though it’s not a direct way of making money from your blog, repurposing high-value internal content as blog posts can still drive sales.
If you want your content management program to help you restructure and monetize your unstructured data, you’ll want to consider which integrations it supports. Of particular use today are content management systems with social media integration, as well as those that can help your business collect additional (structured) data from SEO campaigns and site engagement.
Otherwise, you’ll be creating content without any insight into what that content is achieving for your business.
Make Your Data Work for You
However you decide to put your unstructured data to work, it’s crucial to keep in mind that these files didn’t appear out of the ether. You either worked hard to create them or commissioned them from another outfit, so make them work for you.
Unstructured data is often home to the most interesting and compelling content your business has to offer. When you use it to help you connect with your audience and expand your digital presence, you will demonstrate just how much you have to offer … so don’t sell yourself short by falling prey to data overload.