In this post, we are going to discuss the difference between what is structured vs unstructured data with real work usability.
Data is everywhere and it is used in everyday tasks like shopping, searching for information, and browsing the internet.
An organization gathers data through various means like semi-structured data, unstructured data, and unorganized data.
But there are two different types of data: structured and unstructured where Structured data consists of pre-defined categories which are stored in databases.
Unstructured data refers to all other information that can’t be categorized into one of the pre-defined categories. It includes things like emails, video files, or social media posts,
This blog post will give you an introduction to both types of data and the benefits of each one in the detail.
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is information that is organized in a way that can be easily processed by machines, like databases or spreadsheets.
For example, the date of the data, the type of information (like location), and any other relevant metadata are all important for machine parsing.
It is organized data that can be queried. This data is often in databases, spreadsheets, or other formats that are easily accessed.
Structured data forms a hierarchy or tree structure and the data value is unique to the tree or hierarchy.
For example, numbers are arranged as a tree in a hierarchy, so it is labeled as integer data, which is highly structured.
Structured data is defined as the information that can be easily managed by a computer system or data entry program because it fits into predetermined categories with uniform formats (i.e., numbers, dates, times).
Advantages of Structured data
- It is more organized and structured than unorganized or unstructured data.
- It is easier to search, analyze, and present.
- This type of data also has a higher potential for interoperability.
Disadvantage of Structured data
- There is less accuracy and it can be inaccurate.
- It is structured in a way that you only can collect and use for a structured system.
- Structured data is that it is often difficult to scale due to the requirements of a rigid schema.
- It is typically not the best choice for small business owners looking to track data on their own.
Why is Structured Data Beneficial?
Structured data is beneficial in the sense that it makes it easier for information to be organized.
When one is confronted with unstructured data, there may be complications in getting the desired information.
If structured data has been used, then it will not matter what kind of data is gathered because it will be certain that the desired information can be retrieved easily.
What is Unstructured Data?
Unstructured data refers to any type of data that does not conform to a recognized structure.
This can include text documents, emails, social media posts, emails, video, audio, and images.
Unstructured data is not organized and therefore cannot be easily queried. This information includes things like pictures, videos, and text messages.
However, unstructured data doesn’t have a structure. It is unorganized and chaotic. For example, a piece of information is written in handwriting, where there is no structure or hierarchy, so it is not labeled as structured data.
Unstructured data is more difficult to manage because it doesn’t fit neatly into a predefined format and may have a variety of formats (i.e., words, pictures, sounds).
Advantages of Unstructured data
- Unstructured data is often text-based and more of a freeform of information.
- It can be easily available and found on social media, blogs, and websites.
- A lot of the information a business would want for marketing, customer service, or customer retention will be in this category.
- Unstructured data is that you can find it everywhere on the internet.
- You may also have an easier time finding information from people who are not willing to give specific answers.
Disadvantages of Unstructured data
- It is the opposite of Structured data because it is messy and hard to find specific information.
- It is large in size as well as quantity as compared to structured data.
- It is hard to process and time-consuming in many cases.
- It requires a specific system or algorithm to make it in a structured form.
- This type of information would be very hard to organize because there’s no consistent structure to the files.
How can unstructured data be used effectively?
In an unstructured data environment, the only way to search is to look at all of the data.
This can be time-consuming and expensive and the key to unstructured data is to make it searchable.
You can do this by using a spider or a crawler. After you have made your information crawl-able, you will know what type of information you have and what you need to look for in your content when it comes to social media posts, blog posts, etc.
What is Structured VS Unstructured Data?
We all know the importance of data. But what is structured and unstructured data and what does this mean for you? Here are some things you should know about structured vs unstructured data.
Structured data is stored in a logical, organized way so that it’s easy to find and organize. There are many types of structured data, such as relational databases, spreadsheets, and database tables.
Unstructured data is not stored in such an organized way, which makes it difficult to find and use.
Here are some examples of unstructured data: email messages, blog posts, online forum discussions, web pages, video recordings, or handwritten notes.
The main difference between structured and unstructured data is that structured data follows a set of rules whereas unstructured data does not have any predefined pattern or structure.
Structured vs Unstructured Data: Which One Should I Use?
Deciding which type of data to use may depend on your goals for the project you’re working on.
For example, if you are looking for specific types of information in an unstructured document, it may be more difficult to find than if you had structured data with tags that allowed searching for various relevant keywords.
Take the time to assess what your needs are before making any decisions about which type of data will work best for you.
Examples include database tables, records of transactions, lists of names and addresses. Unstructured data consists of data that does not follow any particular pattern or order.
Examples include web pages, documents, emails, audio clips, videos.
Structured data can be queried using SQL statements whereas unstructured data needs more human intelligence to extract meaning from the content.
Structured Data is very useful for decision-making and predictive analytics while unstructured data provides an opportunity for a more detailed understanding of customer behavior.
Structured data is typically stored in a database and organized according to predetermined fields, such as name, address, and phone number.
Unstructured data, on the other hand, is not organized and is often chaotic and messy. It includes information like email messages, social media posts, photos, and videos.
As I said Data is everywhere. It’s in our phones, it’s on our computers, and it’s all around us. Data is created every time you swipe your credit card, send an email, or search for something online.
Nitin is a professional data Engineer, Who has a Post Graduation in Data Science and Analytics and working in the healthcare sector. Experts in Data analysis, Machine learning, AI, blockchain, Data related tools, and technologies. He is the Co-founder and editor of analyticslearn.com