The hidden value of unstructured data

May 2, 2019

It’s important to understand that not all data is the same. Structured data is most often located in cells in a database, and usually deals with a clear, predetermined business purpose. Instead, unstructured data is most everything else. The most complex portion of unstructured information is textual social media data, news feeds, transcripts, documents, etc. It can’t be easily organized into a database, and it can be ambiguous and difficult to manage because it is characterized by an important trait: human language. Unstructured data is the opposite of structured data: everyday language can contain endless amounts and types of information, is expressed in many different ways, and meaning depends significantly on context. For example, consider that the 500 most common words in everyday language have an average of 23 different meanings. This means that even a simple sentence of just 10 words could have a huge number of different meanings.

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