Browse Definitions :
Definition

semi-structured data

Semi-structured data is data that has not been organized into a specialized repository, such as a database, but that nevertheless has associated information, such as metadata, that makes it more amenable to processing than raw data.

The difference between structured data, unstructured data and semi-structured data:
Unstructured data has not been organized into a format that makes it easier to access and process. In reality, very little data is completely unstructured. Even things that are often considered unstructured data, such as documents and images, are structured to some extent. Structured data is basically the opposite of unstructured: It has been reformatted and its elements organized into a data structure so that elements can be addressed, organized and accessed in various combinations to make better use of the information. Semi-structured data lies somewhere between the two. It is not organized in a complex manner that makes sophisticated access and analysis possible; however, it may have information associated with it, such as metadata tagging, that allows elements contained to be addressed.

Here's an example: A Word document is generally considered to be unstructured data. However, you can add metadata tags in the form of keywords and other metadata that represent the document content and make it easier for that document to be found when people search for those terms -- the data is now semi-structured. Nevertheless, the document still lacks the complex organization of the database, so falls short of being fully structured data.

In reality, there is considerable overlap between the boundaries of the three categories, which are sometimes described collectively as the data continuum.

This was last updated in November 2014

Continue Reading About semi-structured data

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • hardware security module (HSM)

    A hardware security module (HSM) is a physical device that provides extra security for sensitive data.

  • buffer overflow

    A buffer overflow occurs when a program or process attempts to write more data to a fixed-length block of memory, or buffer, than...

  • biometric verification

    Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

Close