Data deluge can be discouraging, but a good data strategy is all about gaining value from all of your data — no matter the format.

Traditionally, data was held in structured databases, but in today’s digital age, organizations are accessing unstructured data from numerous sources and often in large amounts. Sources such as web clickstreams, text messages, social media inputs, text documents, videos and medical imaging. Management of this unstructured big data can be an undertaking, but once reviewed and analyzed properly, it will provide actionable business insights.

The more data accessed and analyzed, the more knowledge about the business will be revealed, providing a clearer picture of how to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. However, making sense of all the unstructured data requires a great deal of planning before attempting to monetize it. When an organization takes the time to understand this data, it will gain insights that can help make better business decisions and transform the way it operates, boosting both its data intelligence and the bottom line.

Here are three ways to take your unstructured data to the next level:

1. Identify key business challenges and goals
Before doing anything new with the data, begin by targeting existing business issues and determine your goals for addressing those challenges. Analyzing your organization’s data can help you develop actionable business insights and create game-changing business solutions. So, by first outlining what parts of your data strategy need improvement, you can really focus on what can be done to get more value from your data.

2. Welcome the digital journey
Every business is unique. There isn’t a “right way” to transform unstructured data into tangible results. Because there is no defined process, it’s important to remember that digital transformation is a journey and not a product you purchase. Successful transformation usually requires changes in philosophy and strategy, but each change should be specific to your organization’s business needs.

3. Maximize search power
Now that you have this large collection of information, devise a strategy to classify what you have so you can put it to work. To act on the business insights the data can provide, develop a strategy that allows you to nimbly search and find data in various formats and across a very large data set.

Looking to drive smarter business insights and gain more revenue from your data? Read the full list to boost your unstructured data to the next level.