Give Data Purpose Weekly: Unleash your dark data!

Summary. With this post I introduce our new blog series “Give Data Purpose Weekly” in which we share tips and tricks to overcome critical obstacles to use data within business processes. We will turn dark data to business value by applying many capabilities of SAP Business Technology Platform.

About 10 years ago the term “dark data” had been coined to describe that up to 90% of data collected by companies is never being used. I observe this data neglect even in my own life. Despite all the smart watches, smart scales, and streaming services around me that collect so many data, I do not analyze any of it. The same happens in companies. Sensor data is being stored, but never used, user interactions are being processed but never analyzed, and transactions are executed and forgotten.

I see three main reasons that keep us from using data:

  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of purpose
  • Lack of access

Let`s start with the lack of awareness. Think about your own data. It takes time to even become aware of all the apps, devices, and services collecting data. My smartphone collects data every second of my life – but I am hardly making myself aware of this fact. On an enterprise level it is even worse. Would you be able to name a person in your company with a full overview of all available data? Accordingly, the first step is to become aware of available data sources in your company.

The second challenge is the lack of purpose. The actual value hidden in data is often not as obvious as we might assume. Let`s return to my smart scale. Even if I am aware of this valuable data source with weight and body fat data history, what am I doing with it? Companies have tons of historic data from service, sales, production, finance, etc. However, they lack ideas to exploit them. You need someone to think about this – from data to value. In my case, I thought about my problem of losing weight. My smart scale collected both weather, weight, and body fat data. And when I looked thoroughly at my data, it showed clearly that every year, when I tried losing weight from January 1st, I failed miserably. However, the data also showed that I succeeded losing weight every time the weather temperature went above zero degrees. Now I know when to try.

The third and biggest challenge, however, is the lack of access. In our popular paper “12 ways to give data purpose in a multi-cloud world” we provided a quick preview into 12 main ways to overcome typical hurdles that keep companies from using their data. There are different types of hurdles, distributed data sources, lack of data governance, IT dependencies, tool complexity, process separation, to efforts to tailor required data tools:

Give Data Purpose Weekly: Expert insights to create value from data

In our new series “Give Data Purpose Weekly” I and other Business Technology Platform experts dive into one hurdle per week. We explain why data remains in the dark and guide you how to free your data with SAP Business Technology Platform. We share expert blogs, architectures, videos, podcasts, and more insightful assets. Our aim is to help you bring your data to any purpose you see. 

If you have any questions about SAP Business Technology Platform or specific elements of our platform, leave a question in SAP Community  Q&A or visit our SAP Community topic page.