Getting Value from “Digital Garbage”

Durham Region in Ontario, Canada has been deadlocked for years in a debate over garbage incineration.  There seem to be equal amounts of proponents and detractors for this controversial plan.  But Durham, like most other municipalities in Canada and the United States, doesn’t have the space for landfills, and doesn’t want them near their community.  So we’ve been paying to have our garbage transported out of province for years.  The proposed incinerator offers a different perspective – to take the garbage and produce something useful – electricity.  Now I’m not going to wade into a political debate, but I became fascinated with this story for the simple idea of getting something from nothing.  Literally turning your garbage into an asset.  And I wondered whether that concept could apply to big data ….

Social Tile - CIM Reusing GarbageMost organizations treat their data as if it were garbage.  88% of data is unused in an organization.  If it has no use, it may as well be garbage.  And just like municipalities, organizations incur significant cost to keep that ‘digital garbage’ and to dispose of it safely.  The was a notion of putting it all in one place, in a Hadoop data lake, however, without some processing that lake may turn into a digital landfill.

Is there another way to get value from your “digital garbage”?

Yes, there is.  If you can ingest all of that data, understand it using natural language processing, and then synthesize it into important concepts like customer records and related data.  Synthesis is like a ‘spring cleaning’ process – it puts your unused data into “keep” and “throw away” piles.  And once you’ve made sense of the data in the keep pile, you can then use it to generate deep intelligence for marketing campaigns and customer care initiatives.

Customer Intelligence Management is a new category of software that enables you to leverage all of your data.  It ingests data you would otherwise not use – webchats, call centre transcripts, web logs, and synthesizes it with known customer data from master data systems, data warehouse, and CRM systems, to create a realistic 360 perspective of your customers.

It’s the equivalent of generating electricity from garbage.

See this online demonstration of AllSight to learn how a Customer Intelligence Management System can help you get value from ALL of your customer data.


About David Corrigan

I’ve spent my entire career helping clients utilize emerging technology to solve their customer data problems. I've always enjoyed solving abstract problems. I've worked with hundreds of companies to utilize new technology, plan and drive to a roadmap, and evangelize and drive momentum for their information projects. During the day, I work on product strategy and marketing for @InfoTrellis, and I'm busy trying to disrupt the customer data and analytics market so that organizations can finally understand every single one of their customers. After hours, I like to take photographs, read, write, practice yoga, or watch soccer - Manchester United and Toronto FC are my teams of choice. Follow me on Twitter @DCorrigan or on LinkedIn at

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