Organizing data is very difficult. There are many ways that you can do it. Actually, there is an infinite number of options that you can take to organize the data properly. There are people who have issues with data organization simply because of the huge volumes that it presents itself in. Big data is an asset for your business, but then it also poses an innumerable lot of challenges that you really do not want to experience. Here is the amazing thing that you probably do not know- there are only five ways to organize data.
There is a world of difference between designing the database and the data organization itself. How will the data be organized in the database? This is the question that you need to answer. The answer is bound to be one of the five methods discussed in this article. To put the issue into perspective better, consider this scenario. You are your company’s content curator and your boss has asked you to organize all the content related to sales and marketing. How are you going to do the data organization? Some people will go for alphabetical structure while others will go for date of the content creation and such things.
A lot of consideration has to be made in the data planning. This will make it possible for effective communication as well as access to the information from the database. Luckily, as aforementioned, there are only five options that you have to worry about. These data organization options include:
Data can be organized by showing a visual depiction of some physical space. The keyword here is visual. Regardless of your goal for the data organization project, if you choose to organize by location, you will have to give some sort of visualization of a place or area. Maps are the most common ways to organize information based on location. Consider maps like those of some college campus or the shopping mall directories. They give you a mental image of where a particular shop or lecture hall is located in relation to another. Organizing data based on location helps to show the relationships between the various types of content that are relevant to each other.
- Alphabetical organization
This is probably the first option that many people consider. Organizing data alphabetically sounds easy and very fast. It actually is easy to organize the data alphabetically. However, remember that data organization is not just for the purpose of storage of the information, but its retrieval is important as well.
Organizing information by alphabetical order works excellently only if people know some specific terms or topics that they are looking for. In such a case, accessing some particular content will be more like taking a walk in the park. Since you know that the topic you are searching for begins with letter ‘T’, you will not have to waste time going through the contents beginning with the other letters. It is just like the index that is located in the back of a textbook or using a dictionary.
This method of data organization will be more or less useless if the individual does not know the topic that they are looking for. If the terms that you use do not make sense to a viewer then alphabetical order will not be of much help to them. This method is fantastic for fictional novels and such content where the data can be organized by things like the author’s last name. However it will do not work for non- fiction reference books.
Time is everything all over the universe. It might not be everything in data organization, but then it is one of the options that you have to organize your content. If you want to find information in a chronological order, then organizing the information based on the time it was created is the best method to use. This method is fantastic because it can show you how things happen over a fixed period of time.
Most institutions choose to organize data by time because this method tells a very different story about the information compared to other methods. Take for instance data on financial activity of a business. The best way to organize this is by time. You could organize the data by location to show where the money is coming from or going to, but then if you organize the data by time. then you will get a comprehensive look of your data.
Hierarchies are beneficial when you want to show how one piece of information is related to another one in the order of importance or their ranks. They are used in organizational charts when you want to show who should report to whom. Essentially, they are excellent when organizing data in a human resource department. They can also be used to show scale, for instance things like biggest to smallest or lightest to heaviest. You can organize the data in ascending or descending order although many people choose to work with descending order.
This is another option that you can take. Organizing content by category can be very tiring to start with but it is still an option. Categories are very useful for a variety of purposes, for example describing different types of data that are being generated by an institution. The problem with this method is that it is so broad compared to the other methods. You can organize the data in just about any way imaginable- by color, gender, price, shape, model etc. The options are infinite.
There are only five ways to organize data. Of course there are other avenues that you could possibly employ to do the data organization, but then they will always fall somewhere in one of these methods. The option that you take is dependent on your business’ specific needs. Always keep in mind that while you are doing the data organization for your organization, that data retrieval is also important. The data should not only be easy to store but also easy to access.
Michael Bentos is an experienced digital marketer and part of the team at ParadoxSEO – the powerful platform that makes SEO simple. In conjunction with his highly qualified SEO consultants, he provides tailored solutions for businesses of all nature and sizes. You can follow him on Twitter. You can also connect him via Linkedin.