New update is available. Click here to update.

# Data Structure

Mohammed Afzal
Last Updated: Nov 24, 2022
MEDIUM

## What is Data Structure?

Data Structure is a well-thought way to store and access data in a way that makes sense and is efficient to retrieve the data and put it back in, simple!

As I mentioned earlier too, we are surrounded by data. I don't doubt it, or do you?! Try to find the answer to that if you still are not sure.

When working with data, it needs to be stored somewhere for later use. You might use the data to understand the behaviour of the users or may just recommend products on the basis of their past shopping history.

So, storing and managing data is the next big challenge! Here is where data structure comes into the picture. Before I give you my definition of data structure, let me give you something really concrete to make this concept of data structure clear.

We see a lot of things around our house, is not it? For instance, your clothes, footwear, and kitchen items like grains, spices, salt and sugar. You might wonder why am I mentioning all these things, I know it is weird but you see, all these items have structured storage space! And this is the point I am trying to make! Your clothes go into your wardrobe and not into the containers where the spices are stored.

Similarly, when we work with data in the digital world, it is essential to think of a structure where we can store or keep these data that make sense in terms of accessibility. Efficiency can come later.

We have a variety of Data Structures which are as follows:

## Data Structures and Algorithms

We have already discussed data structures and now it is time to have a look at Algorithms and put the terms together as Data Structures and Algorithms to see why is it trending all over in the computer science community.

### Algorithms

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is defined as the set of instructions/commands given to solve a problem. For example, giving instructions to a computer to sum 2 or more numbers, finding prime numbers from a bunch of given numbers, etc.

We have a variety of algorithms which are as follows:

## Why is Data Structures and Algorithms trending?

Data Structures and Algorithms is one of the hot topics now and is going to stay forever! Wondering why? It is because it tests your critical thinking skills. It serves as a foundation for your problem-solving skills with restricted resources and with at most efficiency which is something every product based giant and startup are looking for. It is there to stay!

If you also dream to get into FAANG, start from today! Check out our courses on Data Structures and Algorithms.

## Advantages Of Data Structures

Without a doubt, data structures and algorithms are critical for acing the tech giants interview rounds. The reason behind this are:

• Data structures help to organise information efficiently which is widely used in the digital space today.
• Good data structure approach allows quick manipulation of large amounts of data by saving lots of time while performing common operations like storage, processing and retrieval of data.
• One of the most important features of data structures is their reusability which further helps to minimise the redundancy in codes.

## Disadvantages Of Data Structures

Along with so many advantages of data structures, there are some disadvantages too. Like -

• For managing operations related to data structures highly qualified professionals are needed.
• Complex algorithms may be involved while designing your own data structures which in turn also requires a lot of time and research.
• With the increase in the complexity of application or program, the number of data structures involved also increases. This leads to an increase in maintenance costs due to the requirement of skilled man power.

## Applications of Data Structures

Data structures store information according to the mathematical or logical model on which they are built. The operations that can be performed on a data structure make it suitable for specific tasks. Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common uses for data structures.

### Storage of Data

Specifying the attribute collections and associated structures used in database management systems to store records helps with facilitating efficient data persistence in data structures.

### Exchange of Data

Data structures determine how organised information can be transferred across applications like TCP/IP packets.

### Service and Resource Management

File directory management, memory allocation, and processing scheduling queues can all be performed using a linked list data structure, which can be used by basic operating system resources and services.

### Scalability

Data structures are used by big data applications to organise and assign data storage across multiple distributed storage locations. This function ensures maximum performance and scalability.

Follow Data Structures and Algorithms in C++, a free and comprehensive video series by Coding Ninjas, that covers each topic thoroughly.

Was this article helpful ?
6 upvotes