Do you know where your hidden data is? 81% say no!

DocsCorp has released the results of its first-ever global Hidden Data Survey, asking the question: Could ECM and DMS Technology Be Better? Polling people across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions, the goal of the survey was to determine if users were aware that non-searchable image-based documents were stored in their file management systems and whether they had effective technologies in place to find these documents.

Although 81% of respondents had Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology in place to make image-based files text searchable, 81% could not locate the exact file they were searching for all of the time –  suggesting that hidden files were not being processed by their OCR tools.

DocsCorp President Dean Sappey explains why this might be the case: “This could be happening because a) the OCR tool they are using is not automated and requires users to OCR files manually before adding them to a DMS – a process that can be easily skipped or forgotten, or b) large volumes of documents have been ingested into the system as part of a merger or acquisition. These documents could also be legacy documents in the system prior to the company acquiring OCR technology.

Companies with data that cannot be searched are at risk because they lack a complete picture of the document content they actually have. Often what you don’t know CAN hurt you.”

Additional data from Americas/APAC respondents included:

  • 73% perform all or most of their search queries within their document   management system (DMS)
  • 70% perform 11-26+ search queries in a single day
  • 11% don’t use OCR to find hidden files but 75% of these respondents   would consider purchasing it if they knew hidden files existed in   their system

Data Discovery in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

Data discovery is a critical issue for organisations in Europe and the UK since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that all information held on a EU citizen be made available upon request. Of the EMEA survey respondents, 88% use OCR technology to make files searchable but despite this, 69% say search queries don’t return the file they’re looking for all of the time. This puts them at risk of non-compliance under GDPR.

Other survey statistics from EMEA respondents included:

  • 96% perform search queries within their DMS
  • 52% perform 11-25 search queries in a single day while 24% perform 26   or more
  • 62% say they frequently struggle to find files they know exist in   their ECM repository

The survey was sent out via email to DocsCorp partners, clients, and users across all regions (APAC, Americas, and EMEA) and shared with the public on social media. Responses were collected in two batches; APAC and Americas, then EMEA.

This sequence was done to compare searchability across regions, particularly as the GDPR makes data discovery a time-critical issue for Europe and the UK and companies that do business there.

To request a copy of the survey results visit