From Unstructured Data to Unlimited Opportunity

Hidden Opportunity

There is a perception that Unstructured Data is a problem – a huge mass of email and file Data unexamined in a repository, growing daily as a result of doing business online. The truth is that it can be a significant concern for Data Managers if they cannot see where it resides, what comprises it and how to make a plan to manage it. But what about the untapped opportunity in this Unstructured Data set? Imagine if it could be analysed, managed and monetised – how would it transform your business?

Money from Data

GDPR – Data Opportunity Knocks

As the deadline to GDPR looms closer, Data projects are starting to get into the granular level – looking at what particular Data sets are in scope for the regulation and getting the right people, processes and technology in place to manage them. With this exercise comes a rare opportunity to draw a line in the sand and take stock of what is in the Data silos and make a plan to maximise the value of it for the business.

Proper Data analysis will bring all your Data assets to light and with the right team in place – one focussed not only on risk mitigation and compliance but also deriving the commercial value of these assets, a chance to utilise a properly consented and clean database is there for the taking. Getting Data Managers and analytics stakeholders involved in the project as well as the right DPO or external consultants will release the business potential in hitherto dark assets.

Creating and leveraging a forward-thinking team will bring rewards in the future and the GDPR project is a perfect opportunity to get the right balance in a project team to mandate the compliance and also exploit the commercial aspects of the project. Don’t miss out on a chance to get these stakeholders talking and reap the rewards from the activity.

Data and analytics leaders should increase awareness of how better business outcomes can arise from changing how their organization handles personal data” says Lydia Clougherty Jones, research director at Gartner. 

Analysis, Policies and Action

  • Any Data Strategy worth its salt will begin with a comprehensive analysis of all your Data – the Structured (CRM, ERP, Accounts and Stock Management systems) and the Unstructured (emails, spreadsheets, word processing, image, video etc.).
  • Setting up policies to proactively manage Data to mirror your organisation’s policies on archiving, deletion, review and retention are key to maintaining oversight of all Data assets. If these policies are set up correctly from the outset, it means that audit day need not be filled with a sense of dread and that you can get the maximum value from all your Data.
  • Taking decisive remedial action on discovered Data is very important. Identification and removing redundant and obsolete Data at the outset and setting the correct policies to deal with ongoing Data being created daily allows you to make decisions based on your facts. You can then decide to delete, archive, retain identified Data and only keep the valuable assets on expensive Tier 1 storage, driving massive ROI on storage and commercialising the Data you retain for everyday use.

Waterford Technologies for Unstructured Data

Unstructured Data (email and file) is our business – we provide the toolset and expertise to get a concise handle on it .

We help thousands of customers daily to analyse, manage and take action on their hidden Data sets, giving them the software tools to manage themselves or the Managed Service to guide them through projects.

Talk to us today about your free GDPR Data Consultation.


GDPR and the US

US GDPR Awareness

Recently, Waterford Technologies conducted a survey of our clients in the EMEA region and the findings were shocking in terms of GDPR awareness and getting the projects to address their Data off the ground. Some of the discussions we have had with US clients, since then, revealed an even more stark lack of knowledge on the measure – principally because they had not even considered that it might apply to them. After all it is an EU regulation, right?

USA Flag on Computer

The Bad News

If your organization holds personal or sensitive Data on even one EU citizen, you are subject to the GDPR, regardless of your location. While the GDPR is first and foremost an EU regulation, the scope of its footprint has been deliberately extended to protect its citizens Data, no matter where it is held.

While the older Data Protection focus on obvious elements that can personally identify an individual will still be very important, new considerations such as recording IP address, cookies etc. are also considered as identifiable and are under GDPR scope. Location, religion, sexual orientation and many more personal sensitive identifiers now come under its remit too.

On May 25th under GDPR, the potential fines are massive for non-compliance coming in at 4% of of annual global revenue, or €20 Million, whichever is more.

The Good News

Conversely, if your organization has an EU presence, chances are that the project to address GDPR there has already begun and including US-based Data will be much less of a problem than starting the whole project from scratch.

However, if this is not the case, aligning your Data processes to the new regulation is still possible without breaking the bank in terms of people, process, and systems.

Awareness and getting a Data Management project started to address the regulation are key steps towards fulfilling your obligation with regards to GDPR in the US.

Data Management Project

  • Involve the right people across the organization – Data owners from Sales, Marketing, IT etc.
  • Map the Data – all of it – especially the hard to find element in Unstructured Data (email and file) that is created as a result of doing daily business online.
  • Analyze the Data – dragging everything into sunlight and running the rule over what is uncovered.
  • Set policies – adhere to compliance by setting up tailored policies for your Data and implement them.
  • Delete, retain, protect, classify and make informed decisions based on your Data facts.

How Waterford Technologies Can Help

We are experts in Unstructured Data Management – this information makes up 80% of your total Data, according to Gartner. We assist you throughout your project to Map, Manage and Move this Data, setting up policies to give clear vision and reliable Business Intelligence.

Contact our Data Management experts today.

Changing the eDiscovery Mindset

Reactive Mindset

At present, eDiscovery is centred around production of vast quantities of emails and file records as quickly as possible for a legal engagement. The entire mindset is purely reactive and organisations are trying to perform searches of their Data without existing adequate management – in some cases none at all – and delaying the outputs or including results that should have long been deleted or properly archived. This is costly, both in terms of time and bottom line and may have negative impacts in how quickly they can respond to cases.

eDiscovery Mindset
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Could You Handle a DSAR Right Now?

DSAR – What is it?

At present, a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) is a demand from an individual to an organisation to produce a copy of all the Data that the organisation holds on them. The individual must make a written request and pay a fee.  The individual must then be informed about any personal data being processed, a description of the personal data and the reasons it is being processed, whether it will be given to any other party, and given a copy of the Data.

In most cases you must respond to a subject access request promptly and in any event within 40 calendar days of receiving it.
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Culture, Process and Technology for GDPR

More Than Just Technology

We have been talking about the GDPR for quite some time now –  since the enforcement deadline of May 25th came into the distant horizon and we have been helping people prepare for the Unstructured Data (email and file) element of the regulation. One common misperception we have encountered, time and again, is the notion that getting one  vendor’s software will tick the entire GDPR box and you can then relax until audit day.

Culture, Process, Technology

Culture, Process and Technology

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Take Our Unstructured Data Challenge

New Year, New You…

It is the first week of January and naturally we are being bombarded across all media with offers of health and fitness products and services to repair any festive damage. A huge amount of advertisements, peer pressure and reality TV shows will focus minds on meeting the challenge of getting fit for the year ahead.

Unstructured Data Challenge

Unstructured Data Challenge

Just like people, organisations can get bloated over time and a surplus of Data can clog the virtual arteries of business value. It is bad enough when the Data is Structured (in a database or CRM system) and therefore easily found but this can become a chronic problem when it involves the largely unseen Unstructured Data (email and file) that is generated on a constant basis in the normal course of doing daily business. Normally this is a challenge in itself but this year, we have the GDPR coming into force at the end of May.
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Dark Data Minus Analysis = Landfill

Unexplored Country

“Big Data” is a very popular phrase and staggering statistics have been appearing in the Tech media for years to try to get a handle on the concept of just how quickly and exponentially it is growing. Independent research analysis firms such as Gartner, IDC and Forrester are constantly bringing out new and impressive comparative statistics on the topic. A lot of the fast growing Data volume on your servers is valuable, or may be valuable, or it may be so much trash…one thing for certain is that without proper analysis it is Dark Data.

How can you possibly determine value without the proper insight?
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Email Continues to Grow Exponentially

Messaging Options Grow

It is 2017 and we are spoiled for choice in terms of business communication. Whether it is internal work group collaboration or external correspondence with customers and prospects, the options for interaction continue to grow. In such a landscape, with chatbots, IM, video calls, social media messaging all freely available, it would be forgivable to mentally write off the “old school” email as a thing of the past. However, recent research has shown that not only has email not declined in popularity but contrarily has continued to grow exponentially.

Why is this happening and how is it being managed by organisations already deluged by Data?
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Project Planning for GDPR

New Year, New Data Management Project

On January 2nd, most people will be returning back to work after a Christmas project of greatly reducing their food and drink reserves.

But January will also mark the beginning for a lot of organisations of finally tackling the impending GDPR regulation, coming into effect on 25th of May 2018, which will change how companies can process and control the personal data of EU citizens.

According to our recent survey results, just under 50% of companies have an active project to address GDPR concerns, this leaves approximately half of companies to get the ball rolling.
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