DocsCorp Global Hidden Data Survey Finds That 81% of Respondents Have Hidden Files and Are at Risk of Regulatory Non-Compliance

81% of survey respondents have technology to make files searchable, but only 19% say it is completely effective.

PITTSBURGH, SYDNEY AND LONDON – August 9, 2017DocsCorp, a leading provider of document productivity tools, today 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.

Data Discovery in the Americas and APAC

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 organizations 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

About the DocsCorp Hidden Data Survey

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

The Hidden Data Survey is the first in a series of surveys DocsCorp is conducting to gather industry intelligence. Later this year, the company will be launching a global GDPR survey to capture data about the readiness and relevance of GDPR compliance on a global scale. 

DocsCorp will be exhibiting at ILTACON next week in Las Vegas (booth#301/303)

About DocsCorp
DocsCorp designs easy-to-use software and services for document professionals who use enterprise content management systems. We provide solutions for metadata removal, document processing, PDF manipulation, and document comparison. The DocsCorp product suite is built to drive business efficiency and increase the value of existing technology investment. DocsCorp is a global brand with customers located in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and beyond. More than 3,500 organizations rely on DocsCorp software every day. Find out more at or follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookand Blog.