Structured data

Structured data is a type of data that follows a predefined and organised format, allowing easy organisation, storage, search and analysis of data. Structured data are often organised in a hierarchical or tabular manner, following a predefined and uniform pattern. This data type is widely used in relational databases and other organised data structures.

Examples of structured data include:

  1. Tables in a database: Tables in a relational database contain structured data organised in rows (records) and columns (fields). Each column represents a field with a specific data type (such as text, number or date).
  2. XML documents: XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a structured data format widely used to represent data in an organised manner. Data are defined using labels that specify the type of data and their hierarchical relationship.
  3. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation): JSON is a very common structured data format used for exchanging data between applications. It represents data in key-value pairs within objects and arrays.
  4. CSV files (Comma-Separated Values): CSV files contain structured data separated by commas or other separators. These files are often used to import and export data to and from different applications.
  5. Tabular data in spreadsheets: Spreadsheets, such as those created in Microsoft Excel, represent another example of structured data. Rows represent records and columns represent fields.
  6. HTML documents: Although they are often used to define the structure and content of web pages, HTML documents represent structured data that define the appearance and arrangement of elements in a web page.

Structured data are fundamental for efficient data management and analysis. They can be easily stored in databases, processed by computer systems and queried by means of queries. The predefined structure of structured data simplifies the processing and interpretation of data by machines and users.

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