Crossing the Chasm of Unstructured Data
Solving Today's Greatest Data Crisis
I have been in automation for almost my entire professional career, and if I have learned anything from my journey it is this one important lesson: Data is King (or Queen)!
However, almost all medium-to-large enterprises are dealing with the same data crisis. What is that crisis you might ask? It is the massive creation of Unstructured Data compared to Structured or even Semi-Structured Data. In fact, 90% of the world's data was created in the last two years and with Unstructured Data accounting for 80% of data created. That's an increase of over 250% since 2018.
We call this data crisis the "Iceberg Effect". With 80% of enterprise data being locked away in an unstructured format. The tip of the iceberg representing visible data from structured and semi-structured sources and the hidden data being the rest of the iceberg. This hidden data includes some forms of semi-structured content, unstructured documents, images, video, audio, and text. See below:
So what can we do to solve this problem? What options exist today? Well, there are a few common avenues that people have used to enrich and structure data so that it can be machine-readable and highly favorable to automation. The most common avenues are contracts with BPOs where companies pay off-shore firms to label and/or annotate this data so it can be unlocked for usage within an organization. This is often extremely costly and done on a per-project basis because ongoing data processing eventually becomes too costly. Other methods are so-called technology platforms that combine self-labeling by in-house employees and open source crowd labeling like AWS Mechanical Turk (with dismal accuracy rates) and/or BPOs. We're even seeing some companies use weak supervision with limited human involvement. However, they all struggle with consistent output of accurately structured data, and likely the biggest crux: these players do not automate the processing of unstructured data.
With that said, there have been some incredible advancements recently in the ability to automate unstructured data. This new and exciting approach to solving the data crisis has been coined "Unstructured Data Processing" or UDP for short. With a UDP platform, automating your unstructured data without the headaches of crowdsourcing and inaccurate outputs has finally become a reality. No longer will companies be drowning in unstructured data, freeing organizations to automate processes that previously could only be done by a person or solutions like RPA and BPMS platforms. They can finally leverage the entire iceberg!
UDP has the potential to rapidly transform how all organizations consume and leverage data internally and externally by unlocking your hidden data!
The biggest boon that UDP is expected to deliver against the data crisis will be truly enabling AI. We've seen the explosion in popularity and value of AutoML platforms from AWS, Microsoft, Google, DataRobot, Dataiku, and H20.ai to name a few. However, if you speak to any of their customers, one common theme rises to the top. Tons of data, but none of it is structured and therefore is useless for AI-Driven organizations looking to unlock as much value as possible. This puts companies in a hard place who have invested heavily in building out these AI-Driven capabilities (CoE's) only to find out that they have to pay more to source accurate data or use highly paid resources to structure data internally (likely needing one or more solutions that do NOT guarantee the accuracy of output and often need to be restructured and massaged for MONTHS). Or worse, they are forced to outsource completely to BPO's cheap offshore labor due to the overhead and resource constraints of having in-house highly paid skilled workers structure the data.
This is where UDP unlocks the traditional shackles holding companies back from getting the most out of their data. No longer will AI teams be passing over projects that could significantly improve revenue or customer and employee sentiment. That laundry list of ideas business leaders have but is shelved because the structuring of said data is too costly just to "test" an idea goes out the window. UDP has the potential to truly unlock AI and allow it to mature in all fields leveraging AI (which is almost every industry in existence today). What is your Data Strategy? How is your company planning to solve their unstructured data crisis? Very exciting times in what has recently seemed to be a little dark. No longer can unstructured data be an excuse!
I will be looking to publish more over time to highlight how UDP is already making a big splash with business leaders who feel let down by their data strategy and why UDP has changed the game for them. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more, I encourage you to check out super.AI to learn more!