Kilpatrick Townsend

Insights: Publications

The Growing Source of ESI: Structured Data and Messaging Platforms

KT LitSmart Blog

June 13, 2019

Written by David Welch

It takes a minute to come to terms with the definitions of "structured" and "unstructured" data. It seems logical to associate “formatting,” such as the formatting that comes with word documents (indentation, headers and footers, paragraphs, etc.) with “structure,” but the terms are used very differently when it comes to describing data. Structured data traditionally exists in relational databases such as SQL and more simply, Excel.  Unstructured data refers to data that does not easily fit into databases and includes Word documents, emails and PDFs. It seems counter-intuitive, but data that is formatted in a way that makes sense for everyday communication is actually unstructured data.

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David Welch

Senior Project Manager

Denver, CO