News Feature | May 19, 2014

Study Sheds Light On Dark Data

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Dark Data

Document capture company Parascript, and AIIM, an advocate and supporter of information professionals, have announced findings from a study in the area of “dark data” and how technology can help businesses leverage critical information that is not being captured — such as signatures and other handwritten data. According to the study, “Shedding light on the dark data in your document capture processes,” although many companies realize the importance of dark data, they are not fully capitalizing on opportunities to capture and use that data.

Dark data is prevalent on forms and documents, especially in the form of handwriting. Of those surveyed for the study, 40 percent say half or more of their inbound forms have handwritten data fields, and 55 percent say signatures are on half or more of these documents. Signatures are valuable, as a critical part of the information governance process:  86 percent of respondents in the study indicate that signature presence, validation, and lookup would be useful for process enablement or discovery.

However, many companies are not taking advantage of this unstructured, untagged and untapped dark data. In fact, only 6 percent of companies surveyed currently use ICR (intelligent character recognition) or unconstrained handwriting applications that allow fonts and different styles of handwriting to be recognized.

“We see this as a huge opportunity for companies to look to intelligent recognition technologies to capture and better leverage handwritten information, automate workflow approvals for signatures, classify documents for tagging and routing, and, potentially, unlock a gold mine of untapped information,” said Don Dew, Parascript’s director of marketing.