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Discover new value in your unstructured data with GenAI

Diver exploring a submarine cave

Discover new value in your unstructured data with GenAI

What could you achieve with unlimited access to unstructured data? Structured data has dominated computing for decades. However, unstructured data has always existed in abundance, and its potential is enormous—it's predicted that 80% of the world's data will be unstructured by 2025. 

Text, voice, documents, videos, emails, and instant messages are all examples of unstructured data. Traditionally, businesses have focused on insights from structured data due to ease of processing. Computers have relied on data in structured form—rows and columns in a database—to automate analysis and generate insights. However, when it comes to the potential of your data, structured data is only the tip of the iceberg. The hidden insights within unstructured data are enormous, yet for decades they have remained almost entirely untapped. 

Generative AI has transformed the insight-generation landscape. For the first time in history, GenAI means computers can consume and process human-friendly data in the same way as people—at nearly the same fidelity level and at a much higher volume. 

The rise of GenAI is also fueling exciting conversations. Should we throw out orthodox data modeling built specifically for traditional computer processing? Can we embrace fresh ways of data processing that free us from the constraints of rows, columns, and SQL? These questions can serve as catalysts for critical thinking as we explore and shape the data landscape of the future.

From punch cards to wild cards

The history of data processing can be traced back to punch cards and physical media. Structured data, organized into fields such as names, addresses, and dates, was critical for enabling computer processing in those early days. 

Today, GenAI represents a transformative moment in data processing. For the first time, computers can consume and process human-friendly data with a level of understanding that parallels our own. The ability to infer structure automatically and automate processing is critical to this evolution and may revolutionize thinking around structuring data solely for computer processing. 

Unstructured data is more nuanced and colorful than anything that can be captured in a spreadsheet. This nuance means unstructured data provides deeper insights into customer behavior, employee performance, and business output, delivering an outsized impact on business strategy and decision-making.

We won't abandon structured data overnight. But we now have the ability to ask our computers to process data in its more raw, human-friendly form. This opens the door to new use cases, including content recommendations, fraud detection, market research, risk and trend analysis, text clustering, and classification. 

Diver exploring a submarine cave

Guiding GenAI to nuanced insights 

GenAI gives us a distinctive edge—the ability to glean insights from unstructured data, unraveling trends and patterns that often surpass human capabilities. The true potential of GenAI emerges when you allow a model to go beyond programmatic assumptions to uncover inherent signals within data.

Inviting a model to engineer its input through scoring and automated data cleansing unlocks better-informed responses. What's more, instructing a model to disregard portions of existing knowledge on a topic empowers it to provide more insightful answers, reducing bias and ethical mishaps.

Moving beyond the surface level

The integration of GenAI into previously structured-only domains provides opportunities to process data in its raw form. Both semi-structured data, such as financial reports, and unstructured data, such as customer feedback, can now be processed and analyzed without extensive pre-processing.

The middle ground between structured and unstructured data contains fascinating opportunities. Many enterprise applications contain structured fields alongside text-based fields, such as notes, service history, or client feedback. Often, the valuable information hidden in unstructured fields is overlooked, overshadowed by reporting focused on structured data. With GenAI and natural language processing (NLP), organizations can now leverage techniques to analyze the unstructured text in these fields—discovering valuable patterns that may have gone unnoticed, such as clusters, sentiments, key themes, and critical relationships.

We're just opening the door to the possibilities that GenAI unleashes for unstructured data. But it's clear that the future of data processing—and of data-driven customer, business, and market insights—will look very different than anything that's come before.  

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