Structured vs. Unstructured Data

Hi all,

Would anyone care to share a definition of structured versus unstructured data in the Squirro context, specifically mentioning how it relates to the data loading and data processing stages of a project?


Hi Nathan,

Thank you for your question. I found this article to be very useful for explaining the general difference between structured and unstructured data: Structured vs Unstructured Data: What is the Difference? | AltexSoft

In short, “structured data is often spoken of as quantitative data, meaning its objective and pre-defined nature allows us to easily count, measure, and express data in numbers. Unstructured data, alternately, is called qualitative data in the sense that it has a subjective and interpretive nature. This data can be categorised depending on its characteristics and traits.” This remains true in Squirro context as well.

As Squirro’s mainly focusing on unstructured data, our solutions work best with the unstructured/textual data when in comes to data loading and data processing for given use cases. We still, however, can load and ingest structured/numerical data in context of any solution but the AI/NLP/ML capabilities are meant to be used for unstructured data.

One thing to be noted in this regard is that structured data is sometimes used for referring to data formatting and databases such as MS Excel, SQL based databases etc. But for Squirro, these formats / databases can be used to store unstructured data as well. For example, you can have a data dump of a CRM call notes as an Excel file or have emails / movie reviews stored in an MySQL databases. Squirro will be not only able to connect to these sources but also load & process that data as unstructured data.

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Great explanation, thank you Abdul!