Understanding Common Data Structures and File Formats
This chapter covers Objective 1.3 (Compare and contrast common data structures and file formats) of the CompTIA Data+ exam and includes the following topics:
Structured vs. unstructured data
Various file formats
For more information on the official CompTIA Data+ exam topics, see the Introduction.
This chapter covers topics related to data structures, structured data, unstructured data, and the file formats encountered in everyday work and personal life. These can be as trivial as rows and columns from a structured database or an Excel sheet or as complex as highly unstructured datasets used for artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition, there can be multiple (and very familiar) file formats, such as text or flat files, as well as less common formats, such as XML. It is the vividness of data formats across storage, retrieval, and presentation that makes data ever so interesting.