Years of rapid technological innovation have enabled companies to amass vast volumes of information on their business activities, everything from structured data on production, marketing, sales, HR, finance, facilities and operations to transaction-level data on suppliers, customers and partners. But the convergence of major technology shifts like cloud computing, mobility, and social and business networks has sparked a new class of data—texts, tweets, blog posts, web-based videos, and other social postings. Companies that effectively harness this information stand poised to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity and profits. Once they begin using a network, how do they manage all of the unstructured data they obtain to create value?
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