Data Structure Programs: Who on earth would want them?
When dealing with petabytes of data that needs to be made sense of, you need to structure and assign that data before you start your analysis. If you are like most data analysts, you already spend up to 80 percent of your time just data preparation for analysis.
Where data structures allow for the collection and organization of data, data structure programs provide the underlying logic for algorithms to perform operations on that data. Think of the data structure programs as the glue that holds data, structures and algorithms together.
Efficiency is critical when you are searching for insights within your data. That is why data structure programs are so important: they maximize the speed of your search, which leads to faster time to analysis and insights. Using data structure programs and have a significant impact on your business.
Examples of Data Structure Programs
The correct data structure program for your needs is dependent on what type of data you have, as well as what language you are programming in. Some of the most popular data structures for programs are:
- Arrays: These are a fixed-length lists made up of a collection of objects or values. They can be one- or two dimensional and allow you to determine the position of each object using a mathematical formula. An example of when to use an array would be in the calculation of results in a potato-sack race among 500 participants.
- Linked List: Among the simplest and most common of data structures, a linked list is a linear sequence of nodes (data elements), each pointing to the next node by means of a reference or link.
- Stack: These structure data by “last in, first out.” The most common examples of Stack would be using the back button on a web browser or the “undo” function.
- Queues: Conversely, queues organize data in “first in, first out” order. An easy way to remember this is that it mirrors a real-world queue scenario like waiting in line at the grocery store register.
Data Wrangling with Data Structure Programs
Using the right data structure programs is a critical first step in successful data wrangling. The more functional a data structure program is for your dataset, the easier it will be to format, query, and transform that data. That means more time spent understanding key learnings from the data.
To learn more about how to wrangle data download our ebook; Six Core Data Wrangling Activities: An Introductory Guide to Wrangling Data with Trifacta.