When we talk around data or analytics, the terms structured, unstructured, and also semi-structured data frequently get discussed. These are the three creates of data that have actually now become relevant for all varieties of company applications. Structured data has actually been roughly for part time, and also traditional systems and also reporting still depend on this form of data. However, there has actually been a swift increase in the generation the semi-structured and also unstructured data resources in the past couple of years. Together a result, an ext and an ext businesses are now looking to take their analytics come the following level by consisting of all three forms of data.

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In this blog, we will walk you with what is unstructured data, structured data, and semi-structured data. Then, we will certainly compare the structured vs. Unstructured data vs. Semi-structured data in addition to structured, semi-structured, and also unstructured data examples to aid you understand the three data types.

What is Structured vs. Unstructured Data vs. Semi-Structured Data

This blog short article will examine the differences between structured, unstructured, and also semi-structured data and how modern tools enable us to analyze these different data formats.

What is Structured Data?

Structured data is information that has been formatted and also transformed into a well-defined data model. The raw data is mapped right into predesigned areas that deserve to then it is in extracted and read through SQL easily. SQL relational databases, consists of tables with rows and columns, room the perfect example of structured data.

The relational design of structured data makes use of memory since it minimizes data redundancy. However, this also means that structured data is more inter-dependent and also less flexible. Currently let’s look at more examples of structured data.

Examples the Structured Data

Structured data is generated by both humans and machines. There are numerous examples that structured data produced by machines, such as POS data like quantity, barcodes, and also weblog statistics. Similarly, anyone that works on data would have actually used spreadsheets as soon as in your lifetime, i m sorry is a classic case of structured data created by humans. Because of the organization of structured data, that is easier to analyze than both semi-structured and also unstructured data.

What is Semi-Structured Data

Your data may not always be structured or unstructured; semi-structured data or partially structured data is an additional category in between structured and unstructured data. Semi-structured data is a form of data that has actually some consistent and definite characteristics. That does not confine into a rigid structure such together that needed for relational databases. Organizational properties like metadata or semantics tags are provided with semi-structured data to make it an ext manageable; however, the still contains some variability and also inconsistency.

Semi-Structured Data Examples

An instance of semi-structured data is delimited files. The contains aspects that can break down the data into separate hierarchies. Similarly, in digital photographs, the picture does not have a pre-defined framework itself but has details structural characteristics making them semi-structured. Because that instance, if an image is taken indigenous a smartphone, it would have some structured attributes like geotag, an equipment ID, and also DateTime stamp. After gift stored, images can additionally be assigned tags such together ‘pet’ or ‘dog’ to provide a structure.

On some occasions, unstructured data is classified as semi-structured data due to the fact that it has one or an ext classifying attributes.


Structured data vs. Semi-Structured data vs. Unstructured Data (Source: The Data Wiki)

Unstructured Data Definition: What is Unstructured Data?

Unstructured data is defined as data existing in absolute raw form. This data is daunting to procedure due come its complex arrangement and also formatting. Unstructured data administration may take it data from countless forms, consisting of social media posts, chats, satellite imagery, IoT sensor data, emails, and presentations, to organize that in a logical, predefined manner. In contrast, the definition of structured data is data that follows pre-defined data models and also is straightforward to analyze. Structured data examples would encompass alphabetically arranged names the customers and properly organized credit map numbers. After expertise the meaning of unstructured data, let’s watch at part examples.


What is Unstructured Data Example

Unstructured data deserve to be noþeles that’s not in a certain format. This deserve to be a i from a book with pertinent information. An instance of unstructured data could be Log files that are not straightforward to separate. Social media comments and posts must be analyzed.

Here is an example of unstructured data native a log file.

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Differences in between Structured Data, Semi-Structured Data, and also Unstructured Data

Let’s understand the difference between structured vs. Unstructured data vs. Semi-structured data making use of an analogy of interviews. Assume that there exist three types of project interviews: unstructured, semi-structured, and structured interviews.

Let’s an initial understand structured and unstructured data by acquisition the example of one interview. In one unstructured style interview, the concerns asked are fully the interviewer’s choice. He have the right to decide the concerns he desires to ask and also the stimulate in i beg your pardon they would be asked. Popular examples of unstructured questions incorporate “tell me around yourself” and “describe your ideal role.”

Another form is a structured interview. In this case, the interviewer will certainly strictly follow a script created by the HR department, and the exact same script will be offered for every applicants. Likewise, structured vs. Unstructured data complies with an organized style with a less flexible schema.

The third kind is semi-structured information. In a semi-structured interview, the interviewer will incorporate the elements of both unstructured and also structured interviews. The would include the quantitative and consistency elements, comparable to a structured interview. However, at the exact same time, like semi-structured data, structured interviews will have the versatility of tailoring questions follow to the situation. Come reiterate, the key difference in between unstructured and also semi-structured data is that unstructured data complies with no pre-defined format, while semi-structured data is only partly unstructured.

The complying with points highlight the differences in between structured data vs. Unstructured data vs. Semi-structured data:

Organization: Structured Data is well organized; therefore, it has actually the greatest level of organization, when semi-structured data is partly organized; hence the level of arranging is lesser 보다 structured data but greater than the of unstructured data. Lastly, unstructured data is not organized at all. Flexibility and also Scalability: Structured data is relational database or schema dependent, thus less flexible and difficult to scale, if semi-structured data is more flexible and also simpler to range than structured data. However, unstructured data doesn’t have actually a schema that renders it most flexible and scalable out of the various other two. Versioning: Since structured data is based upon a relational database, versioning is performed over tuples, rows, and also tables. ~ above the other hand, in semi-structured data, tuples or graphs are feasible as just a partial database is supported. Lastly, in unstructured data, versioning is most likely as a totality data as there’s no database support. Transaction Management: In structured data, data concurrency is accessible and, therefore, usually wanted for the multitasking process. If in semi-structured data transaction gets adapted from DBMS, yet still, data concurrency isn’t available. Lastly, in structured data, neither transaction management nor data concurrency is present.
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Semi-Structured Data Example

Semi-structured data is not appropriately structured right into cells or columns. However, the does have aspects that do it straightforward to different fields and also records. These deserve to be comma or colons or anything else for that matter. A semi-structured database instance is a JSON query.

< first_name : "Jane", last_name : "Smith", order_id : "123456", order_total : "12.34" > The semi-structured data instance depicted above can be easily formatted into structured data by to run a few commands. If we analyze this analogy, we deserve to see that structured data is much less flexible, organized, and stored in a identified format. Conversely, unstructured data is more complicated and mostly offers qualitative information, which can not be mapped to a pre-defined data model. Top top the various other hand, semi-structured data includes properties that both types, unlike explained in the structured and unstructured data examples.

Historically, businesses have actually only concentrated on extract and analyzing information native structured data. However, with the expansion of semi-structured and also unstructured data, businesses now must look in the direction of a solution that can assist them analyze all three types of data.

Enterprise-grade tools, such together sommos.net Centerprise, can help out with this. Centerprise comes with built-in support for structured, semi-structured, and also unstructured data formats. The tool allows you to catch data entrapped in a disparate mechanism quickly, validate its quality, change to meet organization requirements, and export it come the data analysis layer. The result is that you have the right to translate intake data from your database, documents, emails, PDFs, and also various other formats into a continual stream that output info that have the right to then be provided to make vital business decisions.


To summarize, the is crucial for businesses to know the difference between structured and also unstructured data and semi-structured data. They need to analyze all three forms of data to remain ahead of their competition and also make the most out of their information.

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