It sounds as if someone had prepared a sinister plot and intends to use the policy of world domination. But do not worry, because "dark data" is not as scary as it seems at first glance. "Dark data" is not at all a threat to your business. It is a good term, but not quite accurate. In principle, it would be better to christen this kind of data "dusty" because it is "gathering dust" in the corporate backyards. According to the definition of the research and consulting company Gartner, specializing in the markets of information technology and the author of the term, "dark data" is the information asset of the company, collected, processed and stored for all business activity, but as a rule, not used for analytics, business relations and direct monetization. It is abandoned asset, which is accumulated in the log files and archives. At the same time, no one knows what to do with it. Despite this, no company decided to get rid of it, because even "dark data" may come in handy one day. It may be outdated and unstructured customer data, log files, accounting records, employee information, financial statements, raw research data, e-mails, presentations, older versions of the documentation, and others. WHEN WILL THIS "ONE DAY" COME? With all the hype that has been risen in the world press about the value of big data, you may decide that it's time to dive into the secrets of "dark data" owned by your company. But before investing in the expansion of the capacity of your data storage or in the creation of complex data analysis tools, it is necessary to answer the questions, which make it possible to realistically assess the importance of data for business. The authors of the book "Analysis of big data: what every IT-director should know" offers to start with the following phrases: ▪ If we could know ... ▪ If we could predict ... ▪ If we could measure ... Determine what information you need to clearly define the answers and use it as the standard by which you will be able to evaluate all available data, including the "dark", which has never been used in the framework of regular business activities. Is your "DARK DATA" a goldmine of business intelligence? "Dark data" may not have even the slightest value by itself. But combining it with already assembled or bought data, you can open a digital goldmine. Log files which resembled a real Digital-disorder in former times, may be the key to the patterns of changes in customer behavior. And it definitely will allow you to overtake your immediate competitors. By taking the time to evaluate the significance of "dark data" for your business and investing in the tools necessary for "clarification", you will be able to transform these digital "black holes" in the real business intelligence. WHAT IF "DARK DATA" IS JUST LUMPS OF DUST? But what to do if you came to the conclusion that your "dusty data" is no more than the digital garbage? Even if you decide that "dark data" can not be useful to you, you still have the result. Now you've got an economic justification for releasing IT-resources that previously were being wasted on poor quality data storage, you can safely hit the «delete» button. Just as the invisible dark matter and energy form our space, "dark data" has enormous potential for the formation of the base, which in future will help to innovate, optimize performance, anticipate market opportunities and influence buyers. Industry analysts point out that data and its analysis will be the basis of the next industrial revolution. The study of the company Frost & Sullivan, engaged in consulting in the field of global development, said: "... Internet of Things and big data will have a decisive impact on all segments of the values chain." IS "DARK DATA" OUR BRIGHTER FUTURE? In today's world big business companies accumulate and store tons of information, vital and utterly useless. And since we live in the era of big data, many companies are trying to make even "dark data" their competitive advantage. At any time you can find the use for outdated data. This is like to find $100 in a pants pocket, which you have not worn for six months. The main thing is to find a suitable data management format that will shed light on the seemingly dark data.