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Data Structure Definition

If a company or organization wants to flourish in today's competitive business world, data might be one of the most powerful weapons at its disposal. There are more options and better solutions for issues and challenges when more information is available. Keeping the information organized and accessible is just one of the weighty obligations that come with this data. Any amount of data will only help a business if it can access it and turn it into a valuable asset.

What Is Data Structure?

What is data? Let's take a step back before defining data structures.

Data is knowledge. Data are facts and statistics saved on computers optimized for processing and transfer. Data structures are a particular way of organizing data in a specialized format so that it can be efficiently arranged, analyzed, stored, and retrieved from a computer. They are a way to manage data that makes it user-friendly. Algorithms are set of rules and instructions in a particular order to execute a program to get a desired output. Data and algorithms form the basis of every program, software, and application.

Data structures are produced using connected data and enabling operations on the data.

Programs = Data structures + Algorithms

Specifications of Data Structures

Data organization is done systematically through the use of data structures. Data structures include the following characteristics:

Non-Linear vs. Linear: This feature sequentially organizes the data in formats like arrays, graphs, etc.

Dynamic and Static: Static data structures have set memory locations, formats, and sizes. The data compilation is visible in the static characteristic.

The complexity of Time: Time needs to be carefully considered. A program's running or execution time ought to be constrained. There should be as little running time as feasible. The device is more accurate with a shorter running time.

Correctness: There must undoubtedly be an interface for each data. An interface represents a set of functions supported by data structures. The interface should appropriately implement the data structure.

The Complexity of Space: The space complexity refers to the total amount of memory occupied by a program with respect to its input size. Care should be taken in handling the program's space. It is important to utilize memory appropriately.

Arrangements for linear data

The data elements of a linear data structure are sequentially linked to one another, with each element linked to the elements in front of and behind it. This allows for the structure to be traversed in a single run.




Linked List


The first-in/last-out or last-in/first-out order of the data items is stored in this type of linear data structure. Using stack, the element can be inserted and withdrawn from the same end simultaneously. Both of these instructions follow FILO orders. The following methods can be used to create Stack in Python.

Queue. LifoQueue



Instead of "insert" and "delete," Stack uses the phrases "Push" and "Pop."


It is a grouping of related data kept in adjacent memory locations. Python makes use of arrays as well. Arrays operate on a scale from 0 to (n-1), where "n" represents the array's size. Arrays come in two varieties. These are:

  • Array in one dimension
  • Array in multi-dimension


A linear data structure that uses FIFO order is the queue. First In/First Out is referred to as FIFO. According to the order, the elements placed initially are to be removed first. Queue data structure's characteristics are:

  • adding a component
  • removing the component
  • the access time

Linked List:

The data structures stored sequentially are termed as linked lists. A linked list consists of nodes that contain a value and an address for its next node. The Head of the List is the initial element of any data structure. The linked list facilitates memory allocation and stores data in internal structures, among other things. Linked Lists come in three different varieties. Those are:

  • Individual Linked List
  • Doubly Linked List
  • Circular Linked List

Data Structures That Are Not Linear:

The information structure where the data pieces are placed randomly is called a non-linear data structure. The elements are not organized in order of precedence. Different layers of the data items are present. There are various ways for one element to go to another in non-linear data structures. The non-linear data structures have connections between their data pieces and one or more other elements. Non-linear data structures come in two different varieties. As follows:

  • Data Structure Tree
  • Data Structure Graphs

The Best Data Structure to Use in Your Next Project

Each data structure should complement the required data operations because it is better suited for a particular set of jobs. It is crucial to make the right choice since a mismatch between the goal and the structure could reduce a program's efficiency or increase its complexity. Additionally, several data structures can be used to represent the same information. An ordered list, for instance, could be organized as a tree-like structure or an array. Although the array may be simpler for limited data collection, the tree is more effective.

In some circumstances, some data structures are particularly prevalent. Compilers almost always use hash tables to look up variables' types and current values, for example. Some data structures were created with a specific purpose in mind. Here are some considerations to make when choosing a data structure.

Storage capacity: Although they need more memory, some data structures are extremely useful and simple. Link lists and other simple data structures work well in environments with limited memory.

Performance specifications: Arrays are straightforward, but searching for a specific item can be time-consuming. Hash tables or pointer-based tree structures are frequently faster. Developers must always consider the performance specifications for their programs. Trade-offs are frequently necessary, but ineffective data structures and algorithms can easily become useless. The Big O notation is involved in this problem. An algorithm's Big O value explains how the execution time expands as the data set size does.

The information type: The data structure is frequently determined by the type and nature of the data. Different structures are advantageous for sorted and unordered data. An array can store basic data elements like a list of integers. A list of links between things can be handled more effectively by a graph, though.

Use of the information: Choosing a data structure requires considering the intended use of the data. A more effective data format is needed if the data is frequently updated or accessed.

Effortless use: Some data structures are simple to use and implement, even for novice programmers. Employing simple structures for straightforward internal applications with lax performance requirements is typically preferable.

Permanence: An effective method of storing transient information that shouldn't be saved may exist. The best way to manage stored data is to use an accessible data structure.

Numerous factors frequently affect the choice of a data structure. Frequently, there are multiple outstanding choices. Here are a few illustrations showing different options for data structures.

  • An array is a good and easy option if all elements from an unordered list must be read and processed once. In this situation, arrays are quick, scalable, and simple.
  • Graphs are intended to quickly and efficiently display the relationships between objects. Regrettably, they are among the more complicated data structures, and using them correctly calls for considerable expertise. However, the more intricate graph data structure is the only rational choice if the links between these objects are truly crucial.


"A data format that aids developers in organizing, managing, and storing information" is the definition of a data structure. Computer data structures are characterized in terms of relationships between the items, possible operations on them, and the actual values of the objects. Although developers frequently create new data structures and algorithms for applications, the major programming languages already have many structures.

There are some linear data structures. This indicates that the elements are set up in a logical order. When the connections between the elements are crucial, non-linear methods should be applied. The most widely used data structures are arrays, stacks, queues, records, trees, graphs, linked lists, and hash tables. Choosing a data structure to employ involves a lot of different considerations. However, the most crucial factors are performance, usability, and memory usage. Visit the Python portion of our documentation collection if you're interested in testing some of the data structures covered in this article. The guides in this section cover a variety of Python's basic data types as well as linear data types.

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