What Is Semi-Structured Data?

To consider what semi-structured data is, let’s start with an analogy — interviewing. Let’s say you’re conducting a semi-structured interview. This, as the name implies, falls somewhere in-between a structured and unstructured interview. For context, a structured interview is one in which the questions being asked, as well as the order in which they are asked, is pre-determined by your HR team and consistent for each candidate. An unstructured interview, on the other hand, is one in which the questions, and the order in which they are asked, is up to the discretion of the interviewer — and could be entirely different for each candidate. When you consider these two extremes, you can begin to see the benefits of semi-structured interviews, which are fairly consistent and quantitative (like a structured interview), but still provide the interviewer with a window for building rapport, and asking follow-up questions. Semi-structured data is similar in nature to a semi-structured interview — it’s not as messy and uncontrolled as unstructured data, but not as rigid and readily quantifiable as structured[…]

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