“Unstructured Data” is the fancy term we use to refer to “Content.” Historically we’ve employed this term to differentiate “structured” data (sitting in neat rows and columns in a database) from complex files that typically need attached metadata for essential context. Microsoft Office Files, CAD drawings and Video files are all examples of unstructured data.
But like much in our world of content technology, it can be a misleading term, since the way we use it only addresses one aspect of the “unstructured” nature of this information. First of all, with the rise of XML (and previously SGML) there is such a thing as “structured content,” and it’s increasingly important, though not what I want to talk about today.
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