“Unstructured data” is a misnomer—everyone finally agrees on that much, at least. It is a term that is often applied to information assets that are not relational. Sometimes it is applied to machine data generated by operational technologies.
Sometimes it is applied to content, like documents, or even less specific text such as email or twitter feeds. The term unstructured creates fear, loathing and desire across the IT landscape. If it generates meaningful discussions about innovative processing or challenges the re-use of existing infrastructure without simply defaulting to a mindset of replacing components—then that is a good discussion. But that is about all the term is good for.
Author: Merv Adrian