Whether you realize it or not, your data is being used everyday in some form or another. It could be through feedback surveys, a visit to a website, or even through government records. None of us can escape being a part of statistics. Usually this is okay though, and not anything to be concerned about. It’s just a way for businesses and authorities to understand human patterns or behaviors. But what kind of data is used each day and how does it impact us? That’s what we’re going to have a look at in this blog.
As the name would suggest, structured data is often more structured than unstructured! Structured and unstructured data types have many different qualities. Structured data is highly organized, to the point that it can sometimes be complex to those who are unfamiliar with it. But how is this kind of data used everyday? It makes up around 20 percent of commonly available data for companies, so whilst it isn’t the most typical, it is still a substantial amount. Examples of structured data are as follows:
- TEXT or LONGTEXT
- Boolean data types
- Excel files
- SQL database
This type of data is used regularly in business, whether it’s client information in a spreadsheet or a budget plan in a tabular format. It is often created with formulas that auto-update the information within the spreadsheet which is part of the reason it can take new users a while to get to grips with how everything works together.
On the other end of the spectrum, unstructured data throws the rulebook out the window. It is also a much more commonly used form of data, in business as well as in our daily lives. Pretty much every time we open our smartphones we are met with unstructured data – and we all consume this kind of content, whether we want to or not. It’s everywhere. Unstructured data can be found in the following forms:
- Audio clips
This kind of data is almost unavoidable in modern day life! It differs from structured as it is not stored in a single predefined format – it can differ massively. This form of data makes up around 80% of digital data, whether it’s web pages or medical records.
Now, semi-structured data can be a nice balance of the two types already mentioned. Combining the two means that it is flexible, and relatively easy to manage in comparison to other types. Some examples you may recognise are:
- JSON files
- HTML web pages
- CSV files
These are used regularly in the digital realm, so web developers in particular will handle this kind of data more than most.
All in all, the different types of data out there all come with their own pros and cons which can sometimes balance one another out well. We come across all of these different types of data everyday, whether it is us utilizing it, or our own data is being taken.