Data, in organizational environment, is any piece of information that can help you gain insights and make better decisions. data can be anything from simple entry logs such as time sheets and orders list to complex such as videos, images and social media feed.
to better understand your data, you may use one or more of categories as follows:
Structure: in simplest way, structured data is data that can be sorted, grouped and analyzed. a simple way to identify structured data is to see if you can fit it into a table. think about any type of information that is repetitive such as sales records, attendance records, website visits and other types of information is always in the same shape or form. unstructured data is, well, anything that is not a good example is videos, images, sounds and anything that you can not place in a table. some data can be structured ( a video can be (partially) converted into a structured data by using attributes (video name, topic, speaker, duration, date recorded, etc).
Generation: is the data constantly being generated ( such as records of operations) or on ad-hoc basis (such as surveys)? this is handy when deciding on suitable storage and processing time. last thing you need is being flooded by data that is consuming your time and efforts with little benefit.
Accuracy: how accurate and true is it? data generated from processes are most accurate as they reflect facts, data generated from opinions and feedback are not as credible.
Complexity: some data is easy to understand such as visits to website, time worked, number of sold good other are a bit more complex such as response mean, average website visit time and students grades. complexity does not lie only in understanding their meaning but also in making a good use of them. for example you find out that visitors spend average of 5 minutes on your website, is that good or bad?
once you have categorized your data, you can plan strategies to manage them and make best use of available or maybe collect new data to help you understand your business.