Wonder what’s on Santa’s wish-list this year?

Imagine the logistical nightmare of having to source an age-appropriate gift for every child in the world then deliver them all in a 24-hour window? If anyone needs SaaS, it’s Santa.

Think of all that unstructured data! Massive amounts of content and information: letters to Santa; gift sourcing from vendors and manufacturers to match every request; not to mention overtime contracts for the elves; delivery schedules; and budgeting. Managing Santa’s data effectively would bring big added value to his annual operation in terms of speed, time and cost. Machine learning elements could even be brought in to support that staggeringly complex process of deciding who’s naughty and nice.

Still, you might argue that Santa is not a good example of a CEO in need. We all know that Santa’s success comes from something we others don’t have – magic. And yet, I would say to you that the more sophisticated cloud services and technologies become, the more they do actually approach the idea of magic. Think of all that data replicating itself indefinitely and whizzing around the world at lightning speed. It’s not that far from the Santa experience.

We all have data, the problem is how to use it

Of course most of us doing our new year budget planning don’t have quite the volume of data as Santa and the Elves. Even so, all data today contains its own hidden magic. The main challenge is knowing how to tap into it.

At Cloudia we’re working with our clients to better understand what data they have and how they can convert it into meaningful, actionable forms that will help them make better business decisions. But it’s not easy to deal with unstructured data – meaning documents like emails, contracts in pdf format, or budget spreadsheets in excel. Even though a pdf can be machine read, the context will often be lost to the machine, especially if the document is written in Finnish, so in that sense, structured storage is the key to getting quality, usable data.

I tell my clients, if you want big data, if you want artificial intelligence; if you want block chains; you need to start storing your information in a usable way from the outset. Then it will be ready to use when the right tools are available and, most importantly, when you know what it is you want to do.

Technologies can’t give you anything if you don’t know what you want

Let’s say you want to compare an upcoming project for next year’s budget with a previous project or series of projects. If you have data stored in a structural form, you can dig into it and learn a lot from reverse engineering. How much did it cost? What was the time spent on each phase? How long were the contracts? And much more. 

Once our data management service clients get started, they’re always surprised by just how much value potential their data has. One industry analyst recently put the percentage of business-relevant information available from unstructured data as high as 80%. Sadly, for most organisations it all still goes unrealised.

So, remember this holiday season as you prepare your annual budgets and next-year planning that your data is valuable and infinitely reusable. With the best contract lifecycle management services, it can be the gift that keeps on giving. You could even say that, like Santa himself, your data will become eternal.   

 

“ The more sophisticated cloud services and technologies become, the more they do actually approach the idea of magic. “

Are Saarinen

CEO, Cloudia

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