What are some of the biggest challenges with unstructured data?

By far, the volume of data has to be the biggest challenge...

By far, the volume of data has to be the biggest challenge. Its tremendous growth is creating major technical issues, as well as legal implications.

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How to manage unstructured data

The problem with unstructured information

Email archiving implementation
A big part of the problem is identifying the unstructured data in order to manage it. For example, if you're looking at bitmap images, seismic data, audio or video, there is no way to really identify the data other than the filename and extension -- there is no way to "look" at the data and know that a given piece of data comprises an image or other data type. This makes essential management tasks, like data identification, classification, legal discovery and even basic searches, very challenging for the enterprise. Just consider your own home PC. We pack so much data onto our systems that it eventually becomes a waste of time to even look for a file, especially if we've forgotten the filename.

And with growth, there is also additional cost associated with unstructured data. The inability to actually manage that data is becoming costly in terms of wasted time, wasted storage capacity and potential legal exposures if data cannot be located.

Listen to the Unstructured data FAQ audiocast.

Go to the beginning of the Unstructured Data FAQ Guide.

This was first published in March 2007

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