The amount of unstructured data—freeform information that does not fit neatly into databases organized by fixed categories—is exploding. By 2022, 93% of all digital data will be unstructured, IDG Research predicts. Much of this will be corporate data, including email and text messages, audio files of customer service recordings, video files of YouTube uploads, text files of Word documents and PDFs, social media posts and more.
Having reached epic proportions, the proliferation of unstructured data presents huge storage and processing challenges. Machine-generated data such as medical 3D imaging and satellite imagery, and data created by the Internet of Things, is adding new and even larger streams of unstructured data to the flood.
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