5 Predictions for Unstructured Data in 2019

December 4, 2018

It’s prediction season again. While the holidays are in full swing, it’s time to forecast what’s to come in the expansive world of unstructured data in the coming year. Data governance has become one of the most business-critical disciplines to have emerged across enterprises over the last decade. Firms have gone from data-generating to data-powered to value delivering through data. Today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment and high-risk cyber landscape is placing data at center stage, both as an asset and a liability, alongside advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud systems and risk management.

With the ground shifting beneath the C-suites and boards across verticals, and billions of dollars in the balance, here are five predictions for the world of unstructured data in 2019.

Moving beyond the AI hype 2018 was all about AI implementation. 70% of enterprises expected to implement AI, according to this Forrester report — and the hype around integration was incessant. Next year, reality sets in. Firms will stop talking and start planning, deploying and governing AI as part of their data governance strategy. While many firms have opted to implement AI in the front-end to serve their end users, there will be increasing application across back-office data gathering and integrations that clients won’t see.

Blurring the lines between the structured and unstructured Unstructured data is going to have its moment in the sun — it will become both smarter and more scalable. Enterprise firms deal with countless terabytes of unstructured data, from text analytics and paper documents to Excel spreadsheets and unstructured sources. Because of this deep learning will take a more prominent role in governing unstructured data, analyzing it more efficiently and accurately and making it as actionable as insights derived from structured data.

Expanding data security past IT The cyber threat landscape is set to extend in seismic ways, edging into the physical world. Attacks beyond the digital plane, from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and equipment to physical data centers, will force enterprises to think beyond the traditional IT environment and make data governance security more all-encompassing.

Transforming data lakes into data fabrics Enterprise applications and integrations have grown in size and scope, as have the data they generate. Data lakes have become the native data repositories that house raw data…structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. Enterprises have struggled with the diversity and murkiness of data lakes since their inception. As data lakes become increasingly complex, multi-siloed and digital, they will naturally give way to a centralized data fabric — a large scale information networks that are agnostic to virtual and physical borders — delivering logical data access that is real-time, automated and scalable.

Embracing the multi-cloud Enterprises will move away from the single, umbrella cloud provider and drive demand for interconnected cloud systems in 2019. That means achieving truly agnostic data storage across a multitude of platforms and providers — a concept that dovetails with the big data fabric. Hybrid multi-cloud environments will co-exist across private data centers on premises, off-site data stores, and multiple public clouds, in turn shifting data management and data architecture strategies and policies.

We are in a world where data is only going to continue to grow; we need to understand better where it is, who has access to it and what is being done with it. Unstructured data and its governance are ever changing as various industry-wide shifts drive new developments and priorities for the New Year. There is our quick look into what’s in the horizon. We’re excited to see how our predictions pan out.

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