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New Gigaom Research Examines Business Impact of Big Data Analytics in Extracting Value from Human-Generated Data

Varonis among solutions recommended for more efficient, effective analysis and management of unstructured data 

A new report from Gigaom Research suggests that exploiting the metadata surrounding an organisation’s most valuable and sensitive information assets can provide businesses with a more complete understanding of their intellectual property. Analysis of unstructured human-generated data, including emails, spreadsheets, presentations and other valuable documents, enables organisations to improve collaboration among employees, while better enabling security professionals to identify and mitigate both casual and deliberate breaches of policy.

The report, “Applying Big Data Analytics to Human-Generated Data”, evaluates the opportunities and challenges associated with analysing human-generated data, and examines early adoption in the risk management and governance use cases. The report, which was underwritten by Varonis, also details the potential impact of these analytics for other use cases and industries.

“Most organisations fail to adequately manage the creation, use and dissemination of these key assets,” according to the report. “As a result, they either introduce friction into collaboration through excessively strict access controls or risk serious data loss by sharing data too permissively.”

The lead author, Paul Miller, Gigaom Research Analyst and Founder, The Cloud of Data, points out in the report that much of the current interest in big data is directed towards the analysis of structured data or extracting insight from unstructured or loosely structured system logs and social network interactions. He asserts that similar techniques can be applied to extracting additional value from human-generated data, in which typical enterprise knowledge workers invest the vast majority of their time and effort.

Solutions from the big data sector, including those from Varonis, offer the means to monitor human-generated data across an organisation’s different IT environments, protecting key assets and ensuring that regulatory obligations are met in a cost-effective and timely manner.

While data governance, audits and other regulatory requirements are typically the initial drivers for deployment of these technologies, other opportunities present themselves once systems and procedures are in place. However, the report found that most organisations fail to adequately manage the creation, use and dissemination of key assets, thereby passing up opportunities to extract additional value from this data.

David Gibson, Varonis VP, said, “As the report correctly asserts, there’s an enormous opportunity for businesses to enable better collaboration within their organisation and to better secure their most valuable assets by introducing human-generated big data analysis into their organisations’ practices. In addition to the value derived from exploiting the metadata to provide better insight into the data, by investing in these solutions, companies can also actually maximise IT productivity.”