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Unlocking the big data treasure trunk

Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced – equivalent to 10 million Blu-ray discs stacked on top of each other, the height of nine London Eyes.

It’s easy to feel lost in the mountains of data, leaving you and your business to sort through the rubble of information. It can be difficult to sort through this, and to comprehend what is and isn’t useful - putting stress on your business and employees.

These mountains of data stored in paper files contain valuable information that businesses aren’t harnessing – but how exactly is it possible to extract this data, and what will you get out of it?

Moving forward and transforming digitally as a business can be quite the daunting task, but taking that first step is key to harnessing the potential that big data has for you and your business.

So how can a business harness big data?

The first step to digital transformation within your organisation is capturing this data electronically: scanning. Scanning paper documents to a digital format, and then applying information management solutions can help begin to make sense of the data at hand, which is much more than just becoming paper-free. The data in these documents, if used and harnessed properly, can become an integral part of business processes, helping with speed, accuracy, and cost efficiency.

Here are some top tips to help unlock the potential vault of customer and business data your company may be hiding:

Scanning: Your newest team member

With information being a time-sensitive asset to your business, it is extremely important to ensure documents are quickly and efficiently utilised, and that you can capitalise on all the advantages that digital documents can bring.

Scanning solutions can either be centralised or distributed, a decision which is dictated by what fits best with the current infrastructure and process design at the business. In centralised capture solutions, incoming documents are directed to a mailroom to be sorted and digitised, and then directly forwarded to the relevant person or unit of business. Distributed scanning, however, is best suited for organisations with offices and employees globally dispersed. This method allows documents to be easily and quickly captured, while reducing storage costs and improving security.

Designer document management

The first point of utilising all big data has to offer is at the capture. The faster, more secure, and more accurate the information can flow from paper to the business, the better the outcomes.

The document management strategy is a crucial step for harnessing this big data – tailoring capture and scanning methods, while also keeping the complex nature of siloed environments in mind.

To unlock the path to document capture realisation, providing powerful, useful and correct business information in a timely manner, it is important you adopt an efficient system. This may seem like a daunting task, but successfully navigating and implementing an intelligent document management solution reaps significant rewards.

Keeping it simple to succeed

We all know it is important to give your employees the right tools in order for both them, and your business, to succeed. This also means helping them focus on value creation and how their tasks can bring forth these benefits. Removing monotonous tasks, such as having a worker manually search and check data, can bring incredible productivity to your business. This leaves time to focus on greater value-generating and multifaceted tasks, while also providing workers with a higher level of engagement, simply by automating the workflow.

As structured forms of data are organised and quite straightforward, these bits of data become predictable and clear to understand, and extractable data is in a pre-determined position for capture. With unstructured data, organising this information can be tricky – but structuring this data using the right tools unlocks the potential of big data.

By pre-programming keywords, words, or using a barcode, it is possible to quickly and efficiently know what type of information is available on the document and where.

By capturing and cracking the sometimes hidden information keys to the big data treasure in document capture, organisations can reap the rewards and provide their workers, customers, and the organisation as a whole with a quicker, and more efficient, workflow. The power of the big data treasure trunk may seem overwhelming – but it is rewarding.

Jason Howard, Northern Cluster Manager at Kodak Alaris

Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock