In the twenty-first-century business world, it can feel as if data makes the world go round. Capturing data about clients can help organisations to target messages effectively, boosting sales and promoting customer loyalty. And harnessing data about staff can significantly improve employee engagement too. But with the power of data comes great responsibility, both in terms of adequate analysis and regulatory compliance.

Too often, organisations hold pools of ‘dark data’, which represents a significant risk to the business. Dark data is a type of unstructured, untagged and untapped data that is found in data repositories and has not been analysed or processed. It is similar to the concept of big data but is mostly neglected by business and IT administrators in terms of its value. In this blog, we’re going to have a closer look at dark data – and how CAS can help organisations shed light on it.

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The scale of the dark data problem

According to research quoted in Document Manager Magazine online, as much as 59% of data across UK organisations is unstructured while 40% of data is 'dark' or unused. Unstructured data is becoming more challenging to manage due to its complexity. Data may reside in paper files, original electronic documents or scanned copies of documents. But there is also data embedded in emails, social media, and even handwritten documents and forms.

These sources aren't adequately protected or easily accessed when data is required to fulfil personal information requests under GDPR. Many organisations are afraid of security breaches and not being able to provide data within necessary timeframes. Indeed, surveys showed 51% of respondents said unstructured data was a security risk, and 49% said it put them in danger of non-compliance. When sensitive data isn't adequately protected, the business will face a fine and negative public image if the data is breached.

But this dark data is also an untapped source of potential business success. In the survey quoted, 64% said they could improve operational efficiency and productivity by tapping into unstructured data more. By utilising data more efficiently, 34% of respondents said they could grow sales, and 32% felt customer loyalty could be improved. What’s more, 31% saw it as a source for improving employee engagement.

Making light of data with CAS document management services

With the CAS range of document management services, we can help you make your pools of dark data work for you. For paper documents, we provide off-site document file storage and document archiving. In response to customer demand, we developed a file organisation and cataloguing service as part of this. Our organisational consultants are skilled and expert in quickly, efficiently and discreetly cataloguing your files. After an overview of the volume and content of the files, and an initial consultation, our consultants will get to work and organise your files in a clear, systematic way.

We have plenty of options for sharing data digitally too. We’ve focused our services on scanning and archiving, as that’s what most of our experience tells us our customers want to do. With our live file storage service, you can access frequently used files even when they’re stored off-site. And with scan-on-demand and CAS Cloud digital document management, you’ll have searchable digital archives.

Overarching all of these services is a profound commitment to data protection, which means that we keep your GDPR requirements front of mind. We continually strive for the highest levels of security in our document storage service. And when it comes to getting rid of documents or data which you’re required to destroy, we can shred paper or delete data as appropriate.

You can read the Document Manager article here:

Contact one of the CAS team today to talk about our document management services and our complete range of other document and facilities management services.

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About CAS document management service

CAS provides comprehensive and secure document digitisation, information storage and facilities management services. For more than 20 years, CAS has worked with NHS Trusts, financial services providers, and corporate and private clients. Our head office is just four miles from the City of London, backed up by our advanced storage centres across the UK. CAS has an impressive array of International certifications (ISOs). These prove our compliance with the strictest national, European and international laws. They also demonstrate our commitment to provide innovative systems on security, confidentiality and quality control. And they guarantee that we keep your files safe and well managed.

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