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Shining the Light on Dark Data through Data Preparation and Cognitive Analytics

By Akshata Pai posted Wed October 12, 2016 05:23 AM


Blog editor’s note: Dan Potter, the author of this blog, will be leading a session that takes a deeper look at Cognos Analytics and unlocking data insights at IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016. Join us in Las Vegas, October 24-27 for this session and many other exciting activities. Learn more here.

Data preparation has historically been a major drag on the effectiveness of analytics and business intelligence solutions. It has typically required a specialized data scientist who could prepare the data, resolve any discrepancies and format it for analysis. As analytics solutions get more sophisticated and are able to process more and more types of unstructured data—including so-called “dark data,” or information that is collected, processed and stored during regular business activities but not commonly used in analytics—the challenge only grows. According to the 2015 Stratecast Cloud User Survey, up to 60 percent of a typical analyst’s time is spent on data preparation.

This burden of data preparation has historically meant that analytics has been done by dedicated specialists; it simply wasn’t possible for professionals in other areas of the business to add analytic insight to their normal workflow.

But analytic insights are most useful when they are widely shared throughout the enterprise and when professionals in all areas of the business have access to analytic tools to help them make sense of the data that’s relevant to their particular jobs. Fortunately, leading analytics companies have started to respond to this pressure by developing self-service data preparation tools, which use cognitive technology to help automate and standardize the data preparation process.

With cognitive-guided self-service features, more users than ever before can access relevant data, prepare it for analysis, apply analytic tools, package the results in a visually-appealing format, and share them throughout the organization.

Cognitive-guided self-service data preparation promises to be “the next big disruption in business intelligence”[1] Fortunately, it’s a disruption that holds enormous potential to make analytics even more useful and expand its scope to even more types of data. In the future, fewer and fewer types of data will be “dark.”

To learn more about IBM Cognos Analytics and how it can help you derive insights from even more types of data, join us for Session 3026 - Shining the Light on Dark Data through Data Preparation and Cognitive Analytics at IBM World of Watson. Register now: