With all the hype surrounding big data, and how companies are leveraging it, you might find yourself trying to figure out the type of data they are referring to. Well, you need to understand not all data is created equally. Actually, at no time should you expect data collected through supply chain systems to be the same as that generated from social media apps. In short, you’ll have to make do with structured or unstructured data. To make your quest easy, you ought to understand the difference that exists between structured and unstructured data.
First and foremost, structured data can be categorized as quantitative data. In fact, you should simply think of it as data that blends in perfectly within fixed fields and columns. What is even more fascinating is the fact that this type of data tends to be highly organized and easily understood especially by machine language. If you happen to be working with relational databases, then it will only be a matter of time before you finally get to input, search and manipulate structured data.
Unstructured data, on the other hand, cannot be processed and analyzed using conventional methods and tools. Some of the most notable examples of unstructured data include video, social media activity, text ad satellite imagery. You might already be wondering why unstructured data is hard to deconstruct. Well, this type of data does not have pre-defined model, and hence you can never organize it in relational databases. Instead, you can rely on non-relational databases when looking forward to managing unstructured data. Alternatively, you can allow unstructured data to flow into a data lake thus maintaining its raw, unstructured format. Either way, unstructured data offers a helping hand when trying to take your business a notch higher.
Now that you already know what unstructured and structured data entail, you need understand what it takes before you can finally reap maximum benefits from them. Fortunately, the internet will prove beneficial in this regard since you only have to initiate a search and you are good to go.