Outlook: Tackling unstructured data pains in post
Bryce Button
Issue: November/December 2021

Outlook: Tackling unstructured data pains in post

The amount of data created in the next three years is projected to exceed the volume of data from the last three decades, according to an IDC report. This explosive growth is fueled, in part, by the ongoing content boom, which has resulted in large data workloads for animation and VFX-heavy projects, as well as increasing demand for high-quality 4K/UltraHD and vivid HDR content. By 2023, however, 80 percent of data is expected to be unstructured, posing major bottlenecks for creative shops. Getting ahead of it requires a smarter approach to locating, organizing and analyzing stored assets.

The imminent influx of data may require ample storage, but ramping up storage is expensive. Existing on-premises post infrastructures are also often limited in capacity and unable to scale to support continued growth. Rather than expand storage, implementing a streamlined solution for better data structuring is the more practical strategy.

With it in place, a facility can easily index, search and generate reporting on where stored files live; how they are accessed, used, and archived; who is using them; and how they are transferred between locations. Understanding associated storage costs on a per-file basis is also hugely beneficial. Tracking all this information via spreadsheets, as it’s largely done today, is impractical and unsustainable. To this end, building out a data strategy that can centralize stored files and make the associated metadata more transparent can give businesses a competitive edge.

Software like AJA Diskover Media Edition is a powerful solution emerging to meet the need. Tailored to address the unique data structure demands of M&E professionals, it gives creative facilities a centralized hub to search, find and analyze media asset data originating from on-premises to remote and cloud storage. It was designed to resolve industry specific challenges — such as finding and indexing newly restored online assets from local, remote and cloud storage, LTO tapes and removable hard drives — offering a global view of assets to help production decision makers better understand storage usage.

In addition to working to solve this data-structuring dilemma, AJA has also been focused on helping creative professionals and studios move more seamlessly between a diversity of platforms, protocols and connectivity types. In the age of remote workflows, this means support for IP and protocols like NewTek NDI, which is gaining traction. The trend inspired our development of Bridge Live, as well as Bridge NDI 3G, which provides a gateway between NDI, SDI, streaming codecs and secure, low-latency protocols utilizing the public internet.

As distributed workflows become the new norm across the content creation industry, fusing NDI technologies with SDI infrastructure will prove a winning strategy, allowing facilities to get the most mileage out of their existing gear, while also taking advantage of the benefits of IP video advancements for remote workflows.

In the next year, we expect to see new developments that will propel both NDI and data structuring workflows into the future, unleashing a host of new possibilities for creative facilities around the world.  

Bryce Button is the Director of Product Marketing at AJA Video Systems (aja.com).