Structured Vs Unstructured Data: A Complete Guide in 3 Easy Steps


Let us learn about Structured Vs Unstructured data. The relevance of data in today’s business scenario cannot be denied. The interpretation and analysis of data bring up information and insights which play a major role in leveling up the company to unusual heights. Data analysis has shaped up the market to be real wit and the business firms are now being able to respond to the quickest possible way to the volatility of the market.  There are types of data- structured semi-structured and unstructured data. In this article, we have brought you the types of data- structured vs unstructured and have discussed the differences they have. So stay tuned to keep knowing what is structured data and unstructured data –

  1. Structured data
  2. Unstructured Data
  3. Differences

1. Structured data

Structured data is quite a familiar term to find. And in this article, you will know the meaning of it. Structured data types can be simplified into easy words by referring to it as data which can help in describing your site. The search engines must get know the description of your site. And hence, you would require to present the description in a language that the search engine can understand. The code is put to use by the search engines. They use it to help you gain views. They present your site in a much richer way. And putting this piece of content on your site is much helpful because of the obvious reasons mentioned before.

Let’s take an example- If you own a site of travel content and your content is not that alluring according to you. And if you give structured data in your site, then using that, your site can be presented by the search engine in a much attractive way than it would look otherwise.

Hence, structured data is a medium through which your site talks to the search engine. You let the search engine know the contents you offer. And later on, the search engine decides to show it in the search results to get people relevant search results. And it can more assertively be said, that search engines help the site gaining views and being notified if the site has structured data. Therefore, the benefits of having structured data are many. 

2. Unstructured Data

In this part, we would reveal you what is unstructured data. Unstructured data definition is the data that has no specific model or structure that is uniquely identifiable. Hence, it cannot be used by search engines easily. It can rather be known as data that is not well-organized. And this sort of data is not useful for the mainstream databases of the search engines.

The unstructured data can never be stored in rows and columns of the databases. There is no rule in this data. Moreover, the lack of an identifiable structure fails to be a beneficial form of information for a site to thrive in the rat-race competition of the market. The security of the data is also a controversial thing to ensure. Operating with the data becomes difficult as it is not organized. 

But along with a long list of disadvantages, there come few advantages with it as well. It supports the data lacking a sequence. The unstructured data seems to have constraints by a scheme. As the structure is absent, hence, it is quite a flexible data to work with. The data can be portable and scalable. Unstructured data deals with multiple sources with the utmost efficiency. And this is why unstructured data have a huge role to play in the business analytics and intelligence operations

Extracting information from unstructured data is also a hectic process. Since there is a lack of scheme in the data, so the conventional algorithms seem to identify them. Indexing and tagging unstructured data is also a tough job to do. Organizing the data as per the taxonomies in a hierarchical order can make it a tad easier. To tag the data, it requires to be stored in a virtual repository. 

3. Differences

A) Being schematic and non-schematic

As the name suggests, the structured data have got a scheme and are organized. They are available in the native format. The structured data can be stored in columns and rows. On the other hand, the unstructured data are not organized, and hence, they cannot be easily accessed. They have got no predefined model. 

B) Qualitative and quantitative quality

This point is important for knowing the difference between structured and unstructured data is. The structured data is quite often the quantitative one which is countable. The methods of analysis of the data can be classification, regression, and data clustering. But on the other hand, the unstructured data is more often the qualitative one which can neither r be processed nor be analyzed easily. The qualitative data can be received in surveys or business feedbacks from the customer. Techniques like data mining have made it possible to dig useful insights out of such data.

C) Data house and data lakes storage

The structured data are always stored in the data warehouses and unstructured ones are kept in the data lakes. A data lake is a limitless road to extract the original data. But any structured or unstructured data can be used for cloud service purposes. But the structured data takes up less space for storage and the unstructured data eats up huge space which is why storing unstructured data is considered to be costly.

D) Easy analysis

This difference is one of the major points to be discussed while talking of both structured data and unstructured data. The structured data gives itself completely the best way for data analysis and the unstructured data is the right opposite of it. The unstructured data is a difficult raw form of data to analyze. Deconstructing the unstructured data is a real challenge. Undeniably there is a wide range of tools available to analyze both kinds of data, data mining is one of the effective methods to decode unstructured data. Structured and unstructured data examples of analysis are many in the real world. 

E) The formats

The format of the data also differs if we talk of structured data vs unstructured data. Structured data appear in texts and digits. But on the other hand, the structured data can be seen in various shapes and sizes, and hence, they do not get stored in rows and columns, unlike the structured ones. Structured data vs unstructured data examples are many and the formats bring some of the major differences between both. 


The differences in structured vs unstructured data is evident. Here is hoping we could underline and throw light on the finest differences between them and let enlightened you about what is structured and unstructured data.

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