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

Networking
  • local area network (LAN)

    A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and peripheral devices that are connected together within a distinct ...

  • TCP/IP

    TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and is a suite of communication protocols used to interconnect ...

  • firewall as a service (FWaaS)

    Firewall as a service (FWaaS), also known as a cloud firewall, is a service that provides cloud-based network traffic analysis ...

Security
  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for ensuring individuals have the appropriate access to ...

  • fraud detection

    Fraud detection is a set of activities undertaken to prevent money or property from being obtained through false pretenses.

  • single sign-on (SSO)

    Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials -- for ...

CIO
  • IT project management

    IT project management is the process of planning, organizing and delineating responsibility for the completion of an ...

  • chief financial officer (CFO)

    A chief financial officer (CFO) is the corporate title for the person responsible for managing a company's financial operations ...

  • chief strategy officer (CSO)

    A chief strategy officer (CSO) is a C-level executive charged with helping formulate, facilitate and communicate an ...

HRSoftware
  • core HR (core human resources)

    Core HR (core human resources) is an umbrella term that refers to the basic tasks and functions of an HR department as it manages...

  • HR service delivery

    HR service delivery is a term used to explain how an organization's human resources department offers services to and interacts ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

Customer Experience
  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

  • customer profiling

    Customer profiling is the detailed and systematic process of constructing a clear portrait of a company's ideal customer by ...

Close