Structuring information: concept and types, models and examples

Table of contents:

Structuring information: concept and types, models and examples
Structuring information: concept and types, models and examples

Issues of structuring information are in great demand in the modern world due to the fact that the space is oversaturated with various information. That is why there is a need for the correct interpretation and structuring of a large amount of data. Without this, it is impossible to make important managerial and economic decisions based on any knowledge.

General information

There are many methods of structuring information. This is because there are also a huge number of ways to present and organize it. This must be remembered, because information can be very different in properties. An important role is played by what means or channels of perception are involved in the input or output of data, what level of structure the information has initially and whether it belongs to a numerical, graphical, textual or other type. The ultimate goal for which the data needs to be structured plays a crucial role.


Analysis and structuring of information always have certain goals, and in fact there are quite a few of them. The final result largely depends on the correct setting of the goal. Note the main target classes:

  • Getting new knowledge on a certain process.
  • Checking information for incompleteness or inconsistency.
  • The need to systematize and organize knowledge.
  • Emphasis on certain aspects.
  • Reduce information to avoid glut.
  • Presentation of information in a more visual and understandable way.
  • Using generalizations and abstractions when describing.

Depending on what goals we pursue, technologies and methods of structuring are applied. But as we know, classification is not the final factor that determines the ordering method. That is why it is important to determine the type of information and how it is presented.

structuring information
structuring information

Information classification

Let's consider the classification according to the essence and content of knowledge:

  • About goals and values for the needs of planning and forecasting.
  • About the features.
  • About the structure.
  • About dynamic changes.
  • Generally about the state.
  • About tasks.

This classification is presented in descending order of relevance. So, the most important information is about the goals, because it is on the basis of it that the final needs of the user are determined. The rest of the classes are relatively independent.from each other, they only allow clarifying and supplementing the already available data to reflect their completeness. This placement is quite reasonable, because it makes it possible to solve applied problems quickly and efficiently, but is practically not used when solving complex problems that require computer analysis.

The basics of classifying and structuring information are also based on other features:

1. Information related to something

  • To object.
  • To multiple objects.
  • By Wednesday.

2. Link to Temporal Aspect

  • Past.
  • Future.
  • Real.

3. Structural organization class

  • Structured.
  • Unstructured.
  • Ordered.
  • Formalized.

Despite the apparent complexity of all classifications, I would like to say that the structuring of information is a simple process that we implement every day. The problem of understanding this issue lies only in the fact that we do not think about how multifaceted and extensive this issue is, we do everything automatically. If you dive into the study of this topic from a professional point of view, it turns out that the structuring of information solves many problems, helping us to build our own knowledge system and use it for further development or solving problems both at the everyday level and at the professional level.

What is classification?

Collecting and structuring information is impossible without the concept of classification, which wepartially discussed in the previous paragraphs. But still it is worth understanding this concept in more detail. Classification is a certain system of information elements that designates real objects or processes and arranges them according to certain similar or different features. Most often, this procedure is carried out in order to make the study more convenient.

search for information
search for information

There are two kinds of classifications. The first, artificial, is carried out according to some external features that do not reflect the real essence of the object, and allows you to streamline only superficial data. The second type is a natural or natural classification, which is carried out according to essential features that characterize the essence of objects and processes. It is natural classification that is a scientific tool that is used to study the patterns of objects and processes. At the same time, it cannot be said that artificial classification is absolutely useless. It allows you to solve a number of applied problems, but in itself is rather limited.

The further outcome of the study largely depends on how well the classification procedure was performed. This follows from the fact that the distinction is made at the early stages, and if you make a mistake on them, then further research will go the wrong way.

Important Principles

Techniques for structuring information require adherence to certain principles that allow you to be confident in the reliability of the results:

  • The need to divide each operation into classes anduse only one fundamental feature. This allows you to filter out unnecessary information and focus on the main points.
  • The resulting groups should be logically related and arranged in a certain order based on importance, time, intensity, and so on.

Miller's rule

The pattern is called 7 ±2. It was discovered by the American scientist and psychologist George Miller after conducting a large number of experiments. Miller's rule is that short-term human memory is able to remember, on average, 7 letters of the alphabet, 5 simple words, 9 numbers consisting of 2 digits, and 8 decimal numbers. On average, this represents a group of 7±2 elements. This rule is applicable in many areas, is actively used to train human attention. But it is also used to structure information, based on how much the human brain can handle.

ways of structuring information
ways of structuring information

Edge principle

This effect is based on the fact that the human brain remembers information better at the beginning or at the end. The German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus studied this principle in the 19th century. It is he who is considered its discoverer. It is interesting that in our country they learned about this principle after the film about the adventures of Stirlitz, in which the main character used it to switch the attention of his opponent.

Restroff effect

In another way, this effect is called the isolation effect, and it consists in the fact that when an object stands out from a number of similar ones,it is remembered much better than others. In other words, we can say that we remember most of all what stands out the most. Subconsciously, this effect is used by absolutely all people who want to be noticed. Everyone noticed that it works when, against their will, attention was attracted by bright clothes that stand out from the crowd, a quaint architecture of a house peeking out from a gray street, or a colorful cover from under a pile of identical ones.

Also, the principle is very applicable in advertising, where manufacturers do everything in order to highlight their product as much as possible. And it works even for those who know about this effect!

In structuring information, the Restroff effect is used to ensure that different groups of information are not similar to each other. This provides them with faster easy understanding. Thus, if each element is ambiguous and interesting, then we will remember it much faster.

Methods of structuring information

The process of studying the human brain is not in vain. Scientists have developed several techniques and ways of structuring information that make memorization much more convenient. We will talk about the main and most popular ways.

The Roman room method, or Cicero's chain, is a very simple but effective method for mastering the material. It lies in the fact that the memorized objects must be mentally placed in your room or one that you know very well. The main condition is that all items must be arranged in a strict order. After that, in orderto remember the necessary information it is enough to remember the room. This is exactly what Cicero did when he was preparing for his speech. He walked around his house, mentally placing accents so that he could return to an important point in the course of his speech. You should not be limited to a room, you can try to place the desired information on a familiar street, desktop or other object that you are familiar with.

The mind map method, or Buzan method, is a simple way to graphically represent information using diagrams. Often this method is called mind mapping, due to the fact that it is necessary to build associative maps. This method of memorization has become quite popular in recent times. Such cards are recommended by psychologists and various trainers in order to set goals correctly and understand your real desires. But the original purpose of mind maps was precisely to memorize and structure information faster. In order to make a natal chart, you will need:

  • Material you want to study.
  • Large sheet of paper.
  • Colored pens and pencils.

After that, draw a symbol or picture in the center of the sheet that is associated with the topic that you want to remember, or reflects its essence. After that, towards the center, draw various chains of connections that reflect one or another side of the object under study. As a result, in order to remember the necessary information, you do not have to look through lists or read half a textbook. You can immediately remember the main idea,looking at it in the center of the sheet, and then, moving along the outgoing branches, remember exactly what you need.

analysis and structuring of information
analysis and structuring of information

Methods of phased structuring

Naturally, the structuring of digital information is a more complex process. Of particular difficulty are tasks that are characterized by different levels of uncertainty. In order to solve them, one should resort to a number of methods that can be combined into methods of phased structuring and morphological methods. Both of these types are adapted to be used in conditions of high uncertainty.

But they differ significantly in the way they will be used. The first group aims to gradually reduce the uncertainty of the problem, while the second group aims to solve by building models in one iteration.

It is worth noting that when using the morphological method, the uncertainty may not change at all, it will simply be transferred to another level of description. Both methods start by examining the level of formalization. But if for the methods of step-by-step structuring the level can be any, then for morphological methods, detailed decomposition and subsequent generation of matrix models are important. In other words, we can say that morphological methods are most often used with powerful computer technology, because the human brain is not able to process such arrays of information.

Methods of phased structuringare aimed at finding logical relationships, and morphological methods do not set themselves the task of finding a logical conclusion, but they conduct a thorough combinatorial analysis and sort information more thoroughly and deeply.

However, the effectiveness of the work is to use both of these methods. Structuring digital information requires an integrated approach. It is for this reason that it is important not only to use the most available methods, but also to resort to planning, experimentation and other industry-specific methods.

The technology of structuring information largely depends on how detailed the work should be done. So, when structuring, first of all, the specifics of the industry are taken into account.

Analysis and structuring of information is very beneficial to consider in the context of semiotics. This is an approach that interprets any way of presenting information as one of the varieties of text. The use of a sign system makes it possible to simplify and facilitate the understanding of information as much as possible. So, in graphical representation, we use a number of methods that allow us to move from tonality to contrast, from saturation to brightness, and so on. All this makes it possible to simplify data recognition and translate them for other sign systems. But since chart models are somewhat limited, extracting information from them is often easier using the interpretation model.

methods of structuring information
methods of structuring information

Structuring information in the media library of PCs and servers

We detailconsidered the issues of structuring, but did not touch upon the issue in the context of digital information. In the modern world, information computer technologies are being introduced into all spheres of life. Therefore, it is simply impossible to ignore them. Recently, information media libraries, which are used in schools, higher educational institutions, and technical schools, have received great development. Media libraries of PCs and servers combine methodological teaching aids, sound recordings, book collections, video files, computer presentations, as well as the technical support necessary to display all of the above information. Today, each educational institution creates its own media library, regularly updated with new information recorded on various media. This allows students to develop independent work with telecommunications and electronic catalogs. The functions that the media library performs are as follows:

  • Structuring information using information models for storing student theses, essays, presentations, and so on.
  • Full automation of work with the library.
  • Updating and storing general educational materials in electronic form.
  • Storage of reference manuals.
  • Unlimited access to online resources and electronic libraries.
  • Storage and viewing of photo and video files of an educational institution.
  • Search for the necessary information on request.
  • Efficient work with any sources of information.

The structuring of information storage plays an important role. To do this, institutions need to own powerful servers that would guarantee the integrity and safety of data. That is why the issue must be approached competently and professionally, because in case of an error, lost data can not be returned.

Structuring information in a PC media library requires powerful computing hardware, including mobile devices, laptops, chargers, and so on. Only high-quality equipment will ensure full-fledged work with materials simultaneously for all users. It is also very important to have a central server where the data will be stored. Most often, servers are installed in libraries. Installing a wireless network allows each teacher or student to access all materials from a laptop without leaving home.

Structuring information in databases

A database is a set of data that is shared by the staff of an enterprise, region, university students, and so on. The purpose of databases is to be able to store a large amount of information and provide them at the first request.

structuring digital information
structuring digital information

A properly designed database completely eliminates data redundancy, so the risk of storing conflicting information is minimized. Based on this, we can say that the creation of databases in the modern world has two main goals - to increase the reliability of data and reduce their redundancy.

The life cycle of a software product consistsfrom the stages of design, implementation and operation, but the main and key stage is the design stage. Information saturation and overall performance depend on how competently it is thought out, how clearly the links between all elements are defined.

A properly designed database should:

  • Ensure data integrity.
  • Explore, find and remove inconsistencies.
  • Make it easy to read.
  • Allow the user to structure information and enter new data.
  • Meet performance requirements.

Before designing a database, a thorough analysis of user requirements for a future software product is carried out. At the same time, the programmer is required to know the basic rules and limiting factors in order to correctly build logical relationships between queries. It is very important to work out the search attribute correctly so that users can find the desired information by unsorted keywords. You also need to remember that the more information the database stores in itself, the more important the issue of performance is for it, because it is at maximum loads that all the shortcomings become visible.

The role of information in the modern world

The methods of structuring information that we have considered are aimed at making it as easy as possible to access data, store them in digital or material form. All of them are quite simple in their essence, but for their understanding it is necessary to realize that information isjust an abstract concept.

It is difficult to measure, touch or see in any particular form. From the point of view of structuring information, any object is just a set of certain data and characteristics that we can represent and break into some component parts.

At the same time, understanding the key differences between objects is based on the fact that we compare its values with the norm or with the object that we use for comparison. In order to learn how to quickly and effectively structure information, it is important to understand that it is just a set of certain characteristics, properties and parameters. By learning how to handle and classify them correctly, you can solve many everyday and professional problems.

basics of classification and structuring of information
basics of classification and structuring of information

It is also important to remember that information can always be written down, depicted or presented in some other way. In other words, if you do not understand something, you need to break this topic into detailed elements and delve into their essence so that there is nothing left that could not be explained in simple language.

In everyday life, the majority solves such problems quite easily by inventing mind maps and using the features of their brain discovered by scientists. But in professional terms, structuring information is still a rather difficult task, since its amount is growing every day and every minute.

In fact, the whole evolution of man is a process of accumulation of knowledge. However, in order to effectivelywork, you need to understand the basic principles of structuring information, which we also talked about earlier. There aren't many of them. However, understanding is the key to processing huge amounts of information and remembering them.

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