An automation tool for the unstructured data in your business

By Lynette Whiley

Most of the data in the world is unstructured, meaning it’s not in a database that builds relationships between the data points.

“No more than 15 per cent of unstructured data is placed in a system and managed. These are typically critically important documents that support key areas of the business,” said Jason Cassidy, CEO of Shinydocs Corp, winner of this year’s Top Solution Provider at CDN’s Channel Innovation Awards. “Content management has not kept pace with content creation and any company who doesn’t manage their data really well is exposed to competitive threats as well as potential compliance litigation problems.”

Jason Cassidy, CEO of Shinydocs Corp.

The Kitchener Ont.-based company has built an automated tool that solves the chaos associated with the 85 per cent of unstructured data. Those documents that have been left to languish in shared drives, emails and orphaned content management systems. These documents need to be understood, categorised and dealt with via sound company policy, especially now that compliance laws are becoming more and more stringent and prevalent.

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Early on Cassidy and his team identified an opportunity that acknowledges change-resistant employees. What if a content management system could merge seamlessly with the existing environment such that workers wouldn’t have to change the way they work within the enterprise software?

Cassidy has developed an automation tool that understands information and that doesn’t require human intervention except for augmentation. Now, when Shinydocs is included, employees don’t even know they are interacting with a new content management platform. But certainly, they know they can quickly find the data they need to perform their jobs well.

This is the solution Shinydocs offered to a significant multinational manufacturing company that was facing intense scrutiny from internal audits. Past acquisitions of people and companies resulted in more than 1,000 shared drives that no human could possibly sift through and re-categorise. Questions about processes and data management compliance could not be answered quickly and potential litigation was looming.

This customer is moving along their journey to automation. They now have a content management strategy. They have moved well beyond just managing data and are heading towards automation through understanding what data exists and where it exists. The next step is where the AI starts to understand itself and ultimately manage itself. Graphic submitted.

The automation tool was programmed with content identifiers and left for 48 hours to crawl through close to a petabyte of information. Cassidy and his team then use the results of the crawl to show their client an overview of Important, Obviously Redundant, Obsolete and/or Trivial documents. Anything that wasn’t identifiable, was classified as “other”.

These classifications are important because the client could now construct policies to deal with the data. They can confidently defend any questions requiring data retrieval and importantly, for compliance, data deletion. Through the use of a predictive model, the client also understood the potential future impact of not dealing with their situation. Deletion of data is now a critical content management practice. When Shinydocs first crawl through a client’s data, one of the first trendlines that they provide shows the exact amount of content generated in the past. This leads to a very accurate, predictable view of how much data will come in the next 2, 5, 10 years if it is not managed and disposed of where possible.

“The data will grow with compound interest over the years into a seriously unwieldy liability” said Cassidy.

This year’s gold winner for this category was Slalom.

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