What is data indexing and how is it different?


Data indexing is the process of extracting valuable information from files and documents and building a 'table' containing a subset of that information so that it can easily be searched as required. At scale, this enables large amounts of unstructured information of all types to be instantly searchable, depending on how much detail has been stored in the index.


Every organisation today faces the same challenge, needing to know exactly what data they're searching for. Data indexing is a powerful way to organise this information to solve this problem. Take a moment to think about your data estate. Do you know everything that’s in there? Do you know where it’s stored? Do you know who has access to it? If you’re like 95% of IT professionals, you probably find it a challenge to get visibility across your data estate

The power of data indexing

Indexes first started in books of course, about 200 years ago, and they revolutionised the speed with which information could be extracted from books. 

Imagine your organisation's data was a large reference book in a library.  You have a project to complete so you visit the library to find the information you need.  Rather than reading every page of the book from front to back, you naturally turn to the index at the back to find the information you're after and within seconds you are guided to the handful of pages on which it can be found, which then allows you to complete your assignment. 

In essence, data indexes are no different, except in addition to keywords pointing at pages in a reference book, a data index has more information stored within it.  The amount of information stored in the index defines the quality of search into the information you are looking for.  Another characteristic of data indexing that differs from a book's index, is the way it is kept fresh over time to reflect new data being created, modified, or moved.

Using your data index as a business asset

Through data indexing at scale, organisations can surface the value that has been locked within their storage vaults that has almost always been lost or invisible. By ingesting every characteristic of every data item, it’s possible to visualise all the lost or forgotten data with staggering business impacts.

A global Pharmaceuticals company tested Exonar by replicating a challenge they had previously faced from a litigation. In reality, it had taken the IP Team many hours to perform interviews with the R&D Team, as well as sifting through hard drive folders and file sites, to identify the documents they needed. Given the same context, Exonar Reveal took minutes to discover the same data.

Read how Exonar's data index will deliver up to 500% ROI…

Make data accessible to all with data indexing

Google use indexing technology to aggregate and make sense of the content of every website on the planet, enabling anyone to find anything they need in seconds.  By indexing company data in the same way, organisations have any type of information at their fingertips, which they can then act on to power or protect the business.

This has significant consequences. Because the technology doesn’t require specialist certification to be able to understand and use it, anyone can now run a query without needing to translate the requirement to a data scientist or IT specialist first.  The only consideration is to ensure that the person searching for the information has the appropriate levels of clearance to access it.

From an information security point of view, departments/individuals can take ownership of their data to take appropriate remediations. For compliance, subject access requests could be performed instantly by anyone. And should someone have an important question mid-strategy meeting, they can quickly search to find the answer there and then. 


Exonar Reveal - Index of everything


Exonar reveal is the only data discovery software on the market to build a single index-of-everything for your organisation, including the content of individual documents and files, to make it instantly searchable. 


Other software vendors do use indexing, but their indexes contain a reduced subset of information such as metadata and classification tags, which makes makes for less powerful search and discovery capabilities after the index has been created.


With years of experience and having been 'born' to discover data, we've perfected the ability to index the content and detail of every file, at epic scale across Petabytes of data, so everything is instantly searchable in one place. The software creates an enriched index of all your data by accurately identifying and classifying documents based on specific types of information within files, not just the metadata.


As you would expect, Exonar Reveal constantly discovers new and changing data within your data estate, so that the index is permanently up-to-date and any new data discovered can be tagged and remediated based on workflows set up to monitor change.


How an index of everything delivers value

Data indexing software delivers value to organisations by ingesting all types of data, no matter whether it’s structured or unstructured, and regardless of whether it’s stored on-premise or in the cloud. Ongoing, the technology then constantly re-indexes the data to identify what’s changed, what’s new and to understand the context of the data. Users get a single view of their data estate through clickable dashboard, which allows them to visualise their data in different ways. 

There are a number of valuable use cases for data indexing:

  • Secure data: ensuring that sensitive, confidential and personal information is programmatically kept private and secure.
  • Extract value: mining intellectual property, research or insight within the information so they can use their data to drive competitive advantage.
  • Manage complexity: tackling the volume and complexity of data at scale, so it can be organised and migrated intelligently.

See Exonar Reveal's data indexing capabilities in action  


The best way to discover the power of Exonar Reveal's index is to see it in action. We prefer to plug in dummy data, we’re happy to show you what Exonar can do with your real data. 


Book a demo and see Exonar Reveal in action! 


Alternatively, you can watch a recording from one of our past live demos:  

Watch: “How to get visibility across all your company's structured and unstructured data