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Dark Data: The Untapped Resource Companies Need to Look Into

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Industry Experts We Spoke to This Year Had a Lot of Insights on Dark Data. Here’s a Comprehensive Look at What They Had to Share

When it comes to any kind of data, things get serious in business scenarios. While Big Data has enjoyed a lot of attention so far, off late, Dark Data too has been slowly making the rounds in business conversations. What is Dark Data? Gartner Inc defines it as information assets that an organization collects, processes and stores in the course of its regular business activity, but fails to use for other purposes. Simply put, Dark Data is digital information that is currently not being used.

Bluewolf’s The State of Salesforce Report states, “Over half of sales leaders agree that having a 360-degree view of the customer is the most critical factor in driving sales effectiveness. But less than half of salespeople believe they have that clear view. Today, 90 percent of service professionals don’t analyze dark data, such as customer sentiment or email correspondence.”

Ryan Urban - Image
Ryan Urban

In his interview with MTS, Ryan Urban, CEO and Co-Founder of BounceX, calls Dark Data a goldmine. “One big trend we are absolute proponents of is the use of “dark data.” Companies are sitting on a goldmine of unactivated, siloed information, but aren’t capable of using it for consumer insights and relevant impactful interactions,” says Ryan.

Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson, SVP, CX Insights, Bluewolf

Talking about customer experience and Dark Data, Vanessa Thompson, SVP, CX Insights, Bluewolf, says, “When looking at dark data analysis, there is an opportunity cost of not doing anything and quantifying that would be a great way to highlight the opportunity. Meeting customers where they are requires businesses to understand more about where and how a customer wants to interact with you in order to deliver a superior experience. Businesses have this data and as we mentioned earlier, Einstein knows your customers and Watson can help analyze large sets of data (dark data) that can provide additional insights about your customers. It is the combination of these that can solve for the superior experience.”

by Gartner
Vinod Muthukrishnan

Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO, Cloudcherry, feels that all the data residing in systems of record is Dark Data. “Without integrating demographic, transactional and observational data from customers with experiential data real time, almost all the data residing in systems of record is Dark Data.” He adds that Dark Data can be made ‘active’. “Knowing in real-time how experience is impacting transaction, basket composition, word of mouth and being able to predict the impact of actions on these key metrics, is central to the future of the marketing organization. Dark data becomes ‘active’ when it becomes actionable due to real-time blending with experiential data,” Vinod quips.

Gareth Davies - image
Gareth Davies

According to Gareth Davies, Founder & CEO at AdBrain, AI can be of help when it comes to Dark Data. “AI has the power to create immense value out of both structured and dark data but the biggest beneficiaries will be people, freeing us up from mundane tasks and helping us to ‘level up’ our own intelligence and skills,” says Gareth.

Recommended Read: 3 Reasons Why Data Storytelling Will Be A Top Marketing Trend of 2018

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