How Automated Document Management Overthrows Dark Data Problems

Just as physicists and astronomers have grown fascinated with “dark matter,” (matter that has gravitational pull yet no physical manifestation), records managers and information management experts are growing fascinated with the study of “dark data.”

Gartner reports that dark data is “the information assets organizations collect, process, and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

As its definition implies, dark data imposes significant barriers to effective information management, and most organizations are unwitting victims of the role dark data plays within their organizations. However, there are several tools to circumvent the problems dark data causes, and automated document management is one of them. Continue to reading to identify what you can do to mitigate the impact of dark data through automated document management.


Metadata-driven Software Architecture

Zonal OCR, as a technology facilitating rapid file uploading and simplified use of often used and scanned forms, brings office automation full circle. Functioning as a virtual office assistant, Zonal OCR also helps scan and view specific portions of documents, leading to quicker document search and retrieval times, and therefore, an elimination of dark data within organizations’ repositories.


Automated Document Management Hones One Centralized Repository

Perhaps the biggest contributor to the accumulation of dark data is the number of different places in which information is stored within organizations. For every employee that an organization has, there are usually 2 to 3 different places each employee stores information (and sometimes redundantly).

However, when an automated document management solution spans the entire gamut of business functions belonging to an organization, it is capable of being the storage and collaboration site for all business activity—ensuring all pertinent information is stored in one place and, therefore, made findable and ultimately usable.

The following are just several examples of where dark data is left unused in absence of a centralized repository spanning all necessary business functions:

Filing Cabinets

These clunky objects have been around since the industrial revolution, but that doesn’t mean they don’t contribute to newly minted information management issues such as the proliferation of dark data. These storage mediums oftentimes result in slow file retrieval times and the labeling of certain documents as “lost” when they are merely stored improperly—costing even small organizations tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Shared Drives

Although these devices are less harmful to efficiency than filing cabinets, they do not offer the collaboration and backup features inherent to most automated document management solutions.

Cloud Storage Repositories

Devices like Google Drive and are oftentimes confused with more complex, enterprise-grade solutions like automated document management. Perhaps the biggest downfalls of these cloud storage options, despite their attractive pricing and putative similarity to automated DMS, is their lack of role based user permissions and built-in security to simplify compliance, and a secure file sharing feature. A lack of these features only facilitates greater difficulty in avoiding issues commonly associated with dark data proliferation.

To ensure your business doesn’t succumb to dark data as many businesses have, be sure to speak with a business efficiency expert at eFileCabinet today.