What Is Structured Data? Let’s Break It Down.

By Alyssa Verzino

AdobeStock_404222519Every company has contracts, and every contract holds an incredible amount of information. In order to benefit from the details within your contracts (and effectively make decisions based on them), you need to convert your contract language into structured data. Structured data has transformed the business world because software can easily read structured data. For example, if you want software to take an action on a specific date and time, you'll want to put a list of those dates and times into a data structure like a table or spreadsheet. 

Structured vs. Unstructured Data 

Structured data refers to information that is organized into a logical pattern, with critical items separated into discrete units. A classic example of structured data is a spreadsheet, with figures and terms organized into distinct rows and columns that are easy to interpret and even easier to sort, compare, reorganize, and analyze.

Unstructured data, however, refers to information that isn't so rigidly organized, but can still be interpreted. Virtually any conventional written document -- a newspaper article, a short story, or a legal contract -- is unstructured data. A sports page article about a baseball game would be unstructured data; the box score that accompanies the article would be structured data. 

Legal is one of the few industries that still runs primarily on unstructured data. In order to maximize the value of your contracts, you’ll need to convert several key contract terms into structured data points. At LinkSquares, we call these Smart Values. By extracting key dates, figures, and values from your contracts, your company can act on both individual agreements and your overall contract portfolio with tactical precision and strategic insight.

Lawyers need contracts, but they also need spreadsheets. Read this eBook to learn the 10 common contract terms that you should convert into actionable structured data.

Topics: Contract Data