Unstructured data is a given in the business world, but it poses a significant problem in the business intelligence world.

Merrill Lynch estimates that more than 85 percent of all business information exists as unstructured data in the form of emails, memos, notes from call centers and support operations, news, user groups, chats, reports, letters, surveys, white papers, marketing material, research, presentations, photos, video clips, Web pages and all kinds and forms of upcoming electronic data in databases (see Figure 1).

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