There’s a growing number oftools that you can use to analyze data for a business. But you may not be overly confident in the results if you don’t take the data’s blind spots into account. There’s no single way to do that, but we’ll look at some possibilities here.
The first thing to keep in mind is that a blind spot generally represents an “unknown unknown.” In other words, it’s a factor you didn’t take into account because you didn’t think, or know, to consider it.
- Start Locating Your Dark Data
When many business analysts talk about blind spots in data, dark data comes into the conversation. Dark data is also called “unclassified data,” and it’s information your business has but does not use for analytical purposes or any other reason related to running the business.
If you don’t have any idea how much dark data your company has, what kind of information it entails, and where your company stores it, that unawareness could cause blind spots.
More specifically, having an excessive amount of dark data could mean you spend more time searching for data than analyzing it. Or, dark data could open your company to regulatory risks if you cannot retrieve requested information during an audit.
Similarly, some dark data contains sensitive information that hackers might try to get. If they’re successful, you may not know a data breach took place until months later — if at all.
Fortunately, there are specialized software options that can discover the data your company has — dark or otherwise — and clean it so that you can eventually use the data to meet your business analysis goals.
Instead of being overly concerned about the business investment required for that software, think of the risks to your company if you continue to ignore your unclassified data and the blind spots it causes.
- Pay Attention to Data Stored on Mobiles and in the Public Cloud
It’s increasingly common for people to use smartphones and tablets during their workdays. Some of them do it especially frequently if they take part in fieldwork or visit clients at their homes. Vanson Bourne conducted a study for Veritas to find out more about dark data at the company level and ended up looking at mobile data, among other things.
The study results revealed several fascinating conclusions. First, it showed that, on average, 52% of data within organizations is unclassified and untagged. Veritas asserted that this issue constitutes a security risk because it leaves potentially business-critical information up for grabs by hackers.