I’ve always been intrigued by the problem and opportunities around unstructured data. Why? Because computers weren’t originally designed to handle it and yet it is the way we human beings communicate. We don’t communicate in structured data that fits into rows and columns of a relational database. We communicate in words, but also increasingly in images and videos.
Although this is a problem as old as the computer industry itself – and one I’ve been researching into and advising on for the best part of 20 years – but I’ve seen a recent upsurge in interest. This is driven in part by GDPR and its various offspring around the world causing companies to finally address the risk inherent in vast troves of unmanaged data, and the power of machine learning to unlock the gems hidden in unstructured data.