Term: structured data Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 9 July 2013
Last modified 7 October 2014
Contributed by John Kunze


Definition: Data consisting of distinct elements, each element having a name and a value.
Examples: An XML file and a CSV file are examples of structured data. Example elements of structured data include a string from the XML file between dc:title delimiters, and a cell from the CSV file in row 8, column (headed) "temperature".

In consistency between (structured data, structured datum) and (data, datum). See my comment on term "data". Submitted 14 April 2016
by Chris
Would a poem be considered structured data? It has distinct elements. One could infer names and values. To me the essential thing about structured data, as opposed to unstructured data, is that it is organized in such a way that a computer can make a correct decision based on the data's meaning. A weaker form of this might be to say that the data can be parsed unambiguously by a computer, though I would advocate the stronger definition based on meaning. Think of it this way: If computers could one day understand English, then English text would cease to be unstructured data and would become structured data. Submitted 14 April 2016
by Nassib
Looked at in a certain way, a poem, can be considered structured data. Any text for that matter (eg, line1, line2, ..., word1, word2, ...). "Unambiguous" is a difficult property to pin down for much mainstream metadata, let alone natural language text; for example, for a great deal of structure data that most people would claim to be Dublin Core metadata, it would be hard to make the case that computers will/can make a "correct" decision about it every time. I'd leave unambiguity out of this definition. Submitted 14 April 2016
by John
Would vectors be considered structured data? They consist of distinct elements, but those elements do not each have a name per se. Submitted 14 April 2016
by Nassib
Yes, a vector can be seen as structured data. Each element has a meaning associated with its position in the tuple (eg, direction, length). Just like a row in a table, the name need not be embedded in the row of data elements, each position/column has a name nonetheless. Submitted 14 April 2016
by John