Harnessing unstructured data during and beyond the pandemic era

While we have been spending more time indoors during the pandemic, the extra data that we’ve produced during that time – the Tweets, the Instagram pictures, the product reviews – have taken on an active and highly exploitable life of their own, winging their way into the pockets of companies who can now take advantage of this valuable marketing intelligence – provided they know how to use it. A rich online life correlates with the production of more and more data, providing companies with direct customer information straight from the horse’s mouth – on what customers want, their likes and dislikes, where existing services or products aren’t meeting their needs, and other immeasurably useful insights. According to broadband network Openreach, customers consumed 50,000 petabytes of data in 2020, which is over double the 22,000 consumed in 2019. This provides an impression of the sheer quantity of internet usage during the pandemic, and – by extension – tells us that the voice of the customer has never been clearer, if businesses are prepared to listen.

The challenge of all this new data is that it is unstructured. Unstructured data (UD) is data that is not structured via a data model: it does not necessarily fit neatly into a table or spreadsheet, and it can take a huge variety of forms including text, images, social media posts, and even audio or video files. There has always been a huge amount of UD, but its rise in volume in the wake of lockdown life should act as a wake-up call to businesses who have yet to realize UD’s enormous potential for gaining a competitive edge.

Source link