Unstructured Data Analysis

(UDA) 101

Converting unstructured data – text, narrative data – into actionable information occurs through the UDA process. In an October, 1958 IBM Journal article, an author made this comment about text: “… if a record is to be useful, it must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all else, it must be consulted.” History reflects that industry certainly achieved the goal of continuously extending and storing text records. While businesses have been dominated with an intense focus on the analysis or “consulting” of numbers, there has been virtually no analysis of text until recently.

Analyzing Numbers Isn’t a Panacea

Numbers are subjected to numerous quantitative analyses. In all businesses, numbers from all operational areas are analyzed repetitively. Unfortunately, businesses that fail usually perform just as many – if not more – numerical analyses as businesses that succeed.

Numbers Unable to Answer WHY

Numerical analyses are unable to provide reasons WHY things are happening or not happening. Answering the WHY question enables better decisions about actions to take that will result in greater revenue and/or higher profitability – faster, better, cheaper.

Analyzing Text

The ability to analyze text arrived commercially around the turn of the century. It was met with much fanfare but quickly disappointed most all vested parties. See A Simple History of Unstructured Data Analysis for more on the history of UDA.

Re-emergence as Change Agent

After ten years, unstructured data analysis is re-emerging as a major change agent and means to higher performance – especially for those companies with significant amounts of unstructured data. Many industries have already created major benefits using UDA and more are rapidly finding great applications for it.

Addressing the Basic Questions About UDA

WHAT is Unstructured Data?

Text, narrative data – mainly words – and any other free form data. Read more …

WHO has Unstructured Data?

Most every business function – some have more and some have less. Read more …

WHY Analyze Unstructured Data?

For the same reasons you analyze numbers. Read more …

WHEN to Perform and Unstructured Data Analysis?

With the same frequency – and with the same rigor – as you analyze numbers. Read more …

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