Difference Between Structured And Unstructured Data

When you’re searching for a job, you want to be sure that the company you’re applying to is a good match. To do this, you may ask them some questions about their company and culture. It isn’t always obvious what kind of data it is, so we won’t call it out by name here. If you have any unstructured data that could potentially help someone in the future, it’s worth keeping for that reason alone! Let us take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of structured and unstructured data to see which type would be best for your project.

Structured Data

Structured data is a type of prearranged, standard-format question that can be asked to a company before they are willing to provide you with more information. This type of interview is also known as an application form or common application essay. Unstructured data is any kind of information that someone can give you after the fact. It doesn’t have a specific format and it may come from an interview with a friend or employee at another company, so it isn’t always obvious what kind of data it is. If you have any unstructured data that could potentially help someone in the future, it’s worth keeping for that reason alone!

Unstructured Data

Unstructured data can be difficult to categorise and organise. This makes it harder to find the relevant information you need when you’re trying to search for a job, which can make things more time-consuming. However, unstructured data is also a great resource that can help you when you’re trying to learn about your own company culture or compare two companies. For example, if an employee at one company shared something on social media that wasn’t meant for public eyes, you could use this unstructured data to evaluate how likely it is that the employee will share private information in interviews or during structured data.

Advantages of Structured Data

One important advantage of structured data is that it’s easier to manage. The process of gathering and organising data can be more streamlined with this type of data. It’s also easier for people to find what they need when using structured data because the information is easily organised in a spreadsheet or database.

Disadvantages of Structured Data

One disadvantage of structured data is that it can be time-consuming to write. It’s important to write something that is concise, useful and easily understandable. If you’re not careful, the information in your interview or application form may be too long for the recruiter to read. Another disadvantage of structured data is that it’s less flexible. The last disadvantage of structured data is that it only reaches one person at a time. In contrast, unstructured data has the potential to connect with people all over the world through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Advantages of Unstructured Data

  • You can get a lot of variety from unstructured data, and you don’t have to follow any standard formats
  • Unstructured data is more personal and authentic since it is based on your own experiences rather than something prearranged
  • More authenticity means that people are more likely to trust what you say – These types of questions can be more difficult to answer in the interview setting so there’s less pressure for the interviewer.

Disadvantages of Unstructured Data

There are many disadvantages to using unstructured data. One of the most prominent disadvantages is that it is not prearranged and there is no standard format or structure. This means the data may be scattered and difficult to find, which can be time-consuming if you need to pull it all together.

Which Type to Use for Your Project?

Structured data is prearranged and follows a standard format. Unstructured data is not prearranged, can come from anything such as an interview with a friend or from an employee at another company. It isn’t always obvious what kind of data it is, so we won’t call it out by name here. As said, these different types of data have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s better to carefully consider whether to choose structured or unstructured data for your project.

How to Organise Data?

Once you have chosen what kind of data is better to reach the targets you have in mind for your project, you will want to think about a way to organise all the information at your disposal in the most fitting manner. Marketing automation is a very helpful tool that through the usage of AI and machine learning can help you in this sense. In the first case, you will be able to to develop a cross-selling strategy based on product recommendations, while in the second allows you to recommend as many products as you want, based on all the interactions during the customer journey. The choice, just like in the case of structured and unstructured data, depends on your final purpose.

Trends in Privacy and Data Security 2022

As technology grows and the online world expands, more data is being collected by sites, social media platforms, virtual assistants, and even engagement tracking tools. However, above all, consumers are the most concerned about data privacy.

The internet has been around for three decades, but over this time, many changes have been made to the online world, especially the way we collect data. Now is the time we are more concerned about data privacy since more data is being collected.

Due to this, we are seeing a major shift in concerns regarding data security. Well, let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will see the trends you need to follow in data privacy and security during 2022.

What are the trends in data privacy and security this year?

First and zero-party data

Most advertisers are paying special attention to first-party data and are considering it more favourable than third-party cookies. First-party data is provided by the user and not by any third party. Nevertheless, it’s more effective than collecting data from a third or second party. On the other hand, we have zero-party data when customers intentionally share their personal information with a business/brand.

Osano.com posted an entire blog about how many companies are now shifting to zero and first-party cookies. So we might even say goodbye to third-party cookies sooner than you think!

With first-party data becoming more common, advertisers are more interested in investing time in partnering directly with businesses instead of gathering third-party data. This is a new method of strengthening business ties and ensuring that consumers’ data is safe and sound from potential threats. Nevertheless, it increases a sense of trust and contributes to a long-term relationship.

An increase in data control by consumers

This isn’t any trend that will run out anytime soon. Consumers have the right to gain complete control of their private data. However, as companies collect more data, consumers raise eyebrows about security concerns about their personal data. Sensitive information isn’t something that should be shared with everyone, and it only takes one breach to ruin the entire reputation of a brand.

For example, companies like SEON are using data analytics for fraud detection to avoid these issues. This allows companies to detect suspicious behaviours and prevents fraud on a large scale.

However, as more data is being collected, even large privacy regulators such as the GDPR are asking companies to allow consumers more control over their data. Moreover, those who don’t grant them authority will face hefty fines and have a damaged reputation regarding privacy policies.

An increase in privacy technology investment

To keep pace with technology evolving, companies will begin to invest in and integrate privacy policy technologies into their compliance programs. In fact, according to a study, around 70% of companies worldwide have incorporated AI into their daily operations, which is expected to increase even more soon.

Nevertheless, companies have also increased the amount of money spent on data privacy. Currently, the average amount of money spent on privacy is around $1.3 million, which is expected to increase even more in the near future.

An increase in fraud prevention software

As we mentioned before, more data is being collected by organisations worldwide. What does that mean? It means that organisations are taking more responsibility for holding more private data. Thus, the more personal data you have, the worse it’ll be if it gets hacked by a cyber attack. Not only will it damage your reputation as a company, but it will also impact the sensitive information that has been lost.

Furthermore, companies turn to fraud prevention software. Especially in industries that collect lots of data like e-commerce, fraud prevention software can help prevent any dangerous online attacks. According to statistics, there is a cyber attack every 39 seconds! So, if your security levels are low, you never know if you are the next one to be targeted or not.

If you have an online store, you know better than us that sensitive payment information is collected during the checkout phase. During this phase, there can be many threats made by online attackers to steal credit cards from online shoppers.

A fraud prevention software will detect real-time card cracking, account takeovers, and other suspicious activities during the checkout phase. In short, before an online attacker gets to the core of your information, you’ve already found ways to stop them with your fraud prevention software!

No more cookies

No more cookies? What do we mean? First-party data is changing the way information is being collected by organisations. Thus, third-party cookies are becoming outdated and might even become disabled entirely in the future.

What else do we know about first-party data? The fact that they are becoming more commonly used by Big Tech. Not only can they store this information, but they also attract advertisers looking for a target audience. However, in the near future, Big Tech and advertisers will need to change their habits in collecting and monetising data!

Data privacy regulators are becoming more strict

Powerful privacy regulators such as the GDPR and CPRA are becoming more strict and concerned about data privacy. For example, even though 2021 had a 5% lower data breach compared to 2020, more than 20 billion records were still breached just last year. Thus, the GDPR and CPRA have long been concerned about this.

Even though these are the major privacy regulators, most countries worldwide have data privacy protection laws. This allows countries to enact any illegal data collection, storage, and much more.

Above all, since we said that these privacy regulators are becoming more strict, this also means that there is an increase in fines for those who refuse to comply with these rules. However, don’t put yourself out of this circle because anyone can fail in complying with data privacy rules.

Here are some examples of companies that failed to comply with data privacy rules and paid the price:

  • Amazon: Had to pay a nearly $900 million fine because of the way it collects and shares personal data via cookies. Amazon could have avoided these fines but failed to get cookie consent on their site. All Amazon had to do was inform and give opt-in options before setting cookies for users on their devices.
  • WhatsApp: Many thought Google would be ranked second after Amazon’s huge fine until they failed to explain how they process sensitive data. The social media giant had to pay a fine of more than $250 million, pushing Google’s fine size to third place! 
  • Google Ireland: Google Ireland was the target here by the GDPR. Why? Since it failed to adequately define how it processes its cookies on YouTube, which violates the GDPR. Nevertheless, it didn’t only receive a fine from the GDPR but also got a hefty fine from Google LLC, based in California as well! The fine was more than $100 million, and what is worse is that it was two fines in one! 
Brands are becoming more demanding against third-party data collectors

If we have learned anything in the past years, it’s that no organisation is immune to online attacks. While we may think that these breaches only happen from poor protective security measures, that isn’t the truth. Third-party data collectors play a huge role in these breaches as well, if not even more than we think!

With first-party data substituting third-party ones, you can expect many organisations globally to shift the way they collect data, and this is to become more demanding against third-party data collectors. As data privacy policies continue to change and evolve, so will the demands of organisations collecting data!

Wrapping everything up

That’s about it for this article. This is it on trends in privacy & data security that we should expect this year. Moreover, as we may know, data privacy and security are changing for good, so we can expect many new things this year. However, simultaneously, we should be concerned about our data security and ensure that we are not allowing online attackers to easily get through to our information.

Nevertheless, it only takes a single breach to hurt your brand’s reputation and it’s important to always stay compliant with local data privacy regulators and even the GDPR and CPRA. It can only take a few mistakes that can cost you to pay hefty fines that won’t only hurt your finances, but even shut down your business completely!