Dark data is not as ominous or difficult to find as it sounds - up to 90 per cent of big data is “dark”. The information organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use is known as dark data. However, as it encompasses the entirety of an organisations’ universe of information assets, companies often retain dark data for compliance purposes.

Dark data as defined by Gartner is unstructured, non-normalised data that can develop into huge databases – but it is of little value to many organisations. If dark data is to provide any insight, different types need to be identified, linked, compared and analysed.

The IP impact

In relation to IP, dark data may include information that is not being actively collected, is difficult to access or is not yet being utilised, along with data that a company knows exists but has not currently enabled access to.

Common types of dark data not being used by IP departments include:

  • IP metrics: what are the operational metrics of the idea lifecycle within your organisation? How many ideas are created every year? How many of these ideas are patented?
  • Competitor activity: Do you understand what competitors are filing? Do you know how much they are spending or when they change their business strategies?
  • From product to IP: which intellectual assets are not currently mapped to existing or future product lines?
  • Public and private data: are these datasets linked? Does your private data match PTO records for the same case?

Millions of patent documents are processed each week and with no sign of slowing down, it is crucial for businesses to implement techniques for improved patent management, investing in the information and analyses big patent data can provide.

A brighter dataset

We are focussing on using the dark IP data within our own organisation for further insight into the future of IP management. We want to ensure all of our business data is being used to deliver insights that will continue to form our world leading IP management services. We are delving into our dark data to measure customer satisfaction, the market interests of our clients and success of our products.

We are also working to structure, correlate and tap into the insights that lie beneath the billions of IP, financial, scientific and product data points available to us. Correlating and enriching IP information with other data is essential, casting light on the issue of dark data.  Instead of a data set with 50-70 attributes, we can have more than 200 fields of information enriching the patent and helping utilise dark data for insights. This information will enable IP departments and law firms to make more informed decisions and run leaner, more data driven operations in the future.

Dark data as defined by Gartner is unstructured, non-normalised data that can develop into huge databases. Read more about dark data.