5 Shades of Dark(er) Data

What do your Dark Data fantasies say about you and your data processes? Do you dream of beautiful spreadsheets, all cleaned and ready to be analyzed? If so, you aren’t alone.

Accessing and including Dark Data in analysis is a common frustration for anyone who is constantly overloaded with requests for more data, more analytics, more information, more, more, more. This is a common situation for IT experts, business analysts, marketing analysts, financial analysts, or anyone else who feels they live their work days in Excel. At Datawatch, we call this “The Analyst’s Dilemma”.


Analysts Dilemma

The amount of data being collected by organizations is growing exponentially, making it impossible for analysts to complete reporting without making some sacrifices. Gartner estimates that most organizations use only 10% of the data they collect because the other 90% is too difficult to work with.

This means that increasing the amount of data may just mean increasing the number of roadblocks that analysts must maneuver in order to deliver complete, actionable insight. That is, unless you have the right tools to help you out.

If you work with any of these 5 different types of Dark Data, it may be time to kick your old processes to the curb and treat yourself by introducing something new this Valentine’s Day.

PDF Documents

Many of the analysts we work with identify this as their biggest pain point. Luckily, converting PDF reports to Excel is Datawatch’s bread and butter. Unlike most PDF to Excel converters, Monarch users have complete control over the format of the output table. This freedom allows you to easily access, extract and convert tricky PDF reports into workable spreadsheets. Eliminating error-prone transposition of important data is one of the biggest time-saving benefits of Monarch.

Web Data

The internet is the go-to place for everything, especially when it comes to research. Often times organizations need data that is housed on the web to be included in their analytics. Unfortunately, grabbing information from web pages usually requires some manual transposition. As a result, this either takes a significant investment of time, or it is ignored in the analytics all together. However, with data preparation Monarch web scraping data is simple, allowing for quick enhancements to any analytics project.

Social Media Data

Social media is quickly growing as one of the most important data sources for businesses and organizations worldwide. Knowing how many followers, posts, interactions and page traffic you receive is key to helping you understand your place in the market. In many cases, you can capture this information from your Google Analytics, but this only provides you with so much insight.

Monarch enhances the insights you can derive from GA by making it easy to clean the data and subsequently join it together with more information from databases, like Salesforce, or with online analytics from platforms, like LinkedIn. With Monarch, scraping social media data is simple. A simple highlight, drag-and-drop of a LinkedIn Analytics page will allow you to blend additional metrics for more valuable insights about your social media successes.

Log Files

Log files (generally Text files) keep a running tally of all processes that are completed on a device. As a marketing analyst, these log files can provide valuable insight as to the trail that potential prospects take through your website. In addition, log files can be exceptionally important for IT and network security. In the event of a cyber attack on an organization’s firewall, the log files will provide a history of all activity on the server and can provide insight as to if, or what, might have been compromised.

While these files are rich with information, they can also be extremely messy and difficult to parse out effectively. With Monarch, individuals can easily parse out data from log files into neat rows and columns, making the visual appearance of the data much easier to consume.

JSON Files

A growing number of companies are using JSON files as a means of data exchange and customer orders. However, these JSON files are not easily converted into a workable spreadsheet and are often difficult to comprehend. Extracting data from these files generally requires a technical background and/or knowledge of coding languages, such as C++. Monarch streamlines the process of data extraction from JSON files by identifying important information and converting the static data into a format conducive for cleansing, blending and organizing for further use across the organization.


Unlock 88 Percent of Hidden Data

Altair Monarch unlocks data from the widest varieties of difficult-to-access files, turning Dark Data into valuable additions to all reporting.


If you struggle with accessing or including Dark Data in your reporting and/or analytics, spice things up and make your data fantasies come true this Valentine’s Day with a free trial Altair Monarch.