Structured data is data that conforms to a specific format or structure that follows a predetermined set of rules, which makes it easy to search, sort, and analyze. Tabular data found in a database or spreadsheet is the archetypical example. This data has:
- A consistent schema and data model
- Is presented in rows and columns
- Clusters that group together similar records (e.g., a database table of sales by product category)
Relational databases are commonly used to store large amounts of structured data, such as customer information, sales data, or inventory records.
In the context of data protection, structured data is often considered to be less challenging to secure compared to unstructured data. It's easier to identify sensitive records and limit access to records in databases, compared to files in blob storage.