Shining a Light on Dark Data

Around 80% of a company’s data is unstructured dark data.

80% of a company’s data is unstructured dark data.
  • Type: Blog
  • Date: 17/11/2021
  • Author: Kyle DuPont
  • Tags: data security, data discovery, Cybersecurity, Data science


Around 80% of a company’s data is unstructured dark data. Although to date much focus has been on structured data because it is easier to get a grasp of, unstructured data proliferates with the daily activities of staff, from the important aspects of how deals get done to the more mundane scheduling of after work drinks. Dark data comprises mostly unstructured data that has been heretofore ignored and is either risky ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial) or can provide the business significant value–for instance in understanding how deals get done within the business.

What does this mean for a business? According to Gartner, “through 2024, 80% of information governance programs that do not include unstructured, semistructured and structured data within the same governance program will fail, up from 30% today.”

Companies implementing data governance programs today need to think seriously about how to deal with the unstructured data side of the equation where that is the biggest part of the equation.

Building dark data response capabilities depends on several steps:

  1. Identify tooling that can scale to your organization’s size,

  2. Select tools that can grow into your future use cases but get organizational buy in through tackling point use cases immediately, and

  3. Gain support from executives by using these tools in conjunction with other use cases that fit into your organization’s strategic objectives.


The Data X-Ray is used by some of the world’s largest organizations to understand and tackle their data governance issues. Discovering, and controlling, Dark Data is one of the main use cases that the Data X-Ray tackles by enabling easy configuration of the file analytics engine, scanning unstructured data at petabyte scale, and reporting on your Dark Data across all datasources connected.

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