Is your Organisation ‘Drowning in Data’?

Nov 07, 2023
3 mins read
Drowning in Data

It’s a phrase we’re hearing increasingly frequently, and it largely reflects that after 20-25 years of intensive data growth, organisations now have so much of it that’s it’s becoming an ‘Information Liability’ rather than the ‘Information Asset’ it is supposed to be.

So…why do we collect all this data in the first place? Well, it’s supposed to help us to run our organisations, seek competitive advantage, service our customers, and increasingly, meet Legislated compliance (think GDPR and a growing global increase in Privacy legislation as just one example). However, according to what we’re being told by our customers in the UK, the US, Asia and Australasia, they are struggling to find the right information when they need it, even if they know ‘it’s there somewhere’.

There appear to be two factors making this information so hard to find: The first is that there is so much of it now (and it grows every day Enterprise data is growing at 63% PER MONTH!! Matillion/IDG survey (2022)), and the second is that its spread across so many different siloed information systems (Mail; CRM; HRMS….and Document Management Systems (DMS)). The explosion of DMSs has been in response to this difficulty in finding the right information when it’s needed; by centralising all your data into one system, supposedly you get ‘the single source of truth’ (a common claim by DMS providers). This is supposedly assisted by creating ‘taxonomies’, structures by which your information needs to be indexed and filed. The challenge with this hypothesis, is that different organisations, even those that use the same DMS, employ different taxonomies, depending upon who created those for each particular firm. Then there is the claim that WE have created a single taxonomy that everyone needs to adopt: Yeah, right!

This is even before we question the logic (and time and cost) of moving data out of the native system we paid good money to licence, and replicate it in a DMS….so we can more easily find it.

Imagine if you didn’t need to move all your information to a centralised repository and that you could just ‘find’ the right information when you need it. Imagine that the results are fast, contextual, and relevant and simply found within the native system where the information resides. Impossible? Hmmm, we’ve heard that before, especially from DMS companies, but that is understandable when for the past 20 years it’s practically been the only way of ensuring the information can be found. That is not now the case! SimSage indexes and finds information wherever it is filed, quickly and contextually.

Does this mean the end of DMSs? No, we don’t believe so. There is a huge amount of ‘legacy’ information still resident in systems that don’t have an API, a means for an application, such as Search, to communicate with various systems, especially where information isn’t formally structured. FileShares (think Explorer) are a good example. It’s easy enough to build just one connector to a modern API-enabled DMS to allow information to be quickly found….but why would you do that with information that resides in all your dozens of other systems that have a perfectly good API.

What we’re ultimately talking about here is remembering that all this information your organisation is supposed to help your organisation, not hinder it. And there is that constant, and often hidden cost of data retention and replication of that information that is slowly killing your bottom-line.

If you’re up to a chat on how SimSage can help you, then please get in touch at

Now, about all those years of accumulated legacy data that you really need to do something about? We are frequently being asked to come and help ‘sort out the mess’, so we can talk about that too!