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Solving the Mystery Behind Dark Data

In the known universe, there are 100 billion galaxies that all share the same fundamental problem: they should all be torn apart. Galaxies are rotating with such astonishing speed there is no way the gravity generated by all their stars and planets could possibly hold them together. It was this fundamental conundrum that led scientists to discover that 85% of the matter in the known universe is a mysterious substance called dark matter.

Much like dark matter, dark data makes up the vast majority of all the data in existence. Over 90%, in fact. So, what is it?

Every day companies are gathering enormous amounts of data from sensors, surveys, cookies, loyalty cards and more. With each passing day, there is more data than there has ever been in the history of mankind. Of all that data, less than 10% of it is ever analyzed. The other 90% is considered “dark data” – data that has been collected and stored, but has never been analyzed in any way.

Most companies use even less than that, with some sectors tapping only about 1% of the data they collect. In manufacturing, many companies only tap into data for anomaly detection, missing valuable opportunities for optimization and predictive analytics. Why?

The answer comes down to business intelligence tools. Dark data is typically unstructured data, which doesn’t always fit neatly into an organized pattern alongside structured data. This can make it difficult to search with most business intelligence tools; and tapping into the data typically requires a lengthy and non-repeatable data science project.

This is one area where our Catalyst® software can be a game changer.

The first thing to understand is that Catalyst is built on a Data Lake – a massive cloud-based repository for all of your structured and unstructured data. In addition to the data from your ERP, this can include Big Data, syndicated data, historical data and any other data you might have.

The second thing to understand is how you can tap into it. Catalyst features a one-of-a-kind Query Tool that lets you access and make sense of data that might otherwise go dark. You don’t need to know SQL, Access or have a Data Scientist in tow. With Catalyst anyone can marry different types of data together to discover new insights. The tool lets you change columns, criteria and parameters – any combination to get the data you need.

The possibilities from there are endless. You can build pivot tables to understand syndicated data alongside your customer data to understand trends. You can extract insights from trillions of point-of-sale data points. You can understand how variables like weather data and fuel costs impact your profitability. Catalyst makes it easy to understand the relationships between disparate data points.

For many companies this data will just sit there, untapped. When you can query it, visualize cause-and-effect relationships and draw out insights, you can turn that once-dark data into an intelligence resource that improves profitability.

And the beautiful thing is, you don’t have to be a massive enterprise to wield the power of Catalyst. While Big Data toolsets were once only reserved for the elite, a tool like Catalyst allows small and midsize businesses the opportunity to tap into data that was once destined to go dark and draw out their own game-changing insights.

Are you ready to step into the light?

Learn more at http://www.ebmcatalyst.com/datalake

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