# Data Structure

## Definition of Data Structure

Data Structure: A data structure is a way of organizing and storing data. Data structures can be simple, like an array of numbers, or more complex, like a tree.

## What is a Data Structure used for?

A data structure is a way of organizing data so that it can be efficiently accessed, managed, and manipulated. It is used to store and organize large amounts of information in an easy-to-access manner. It helps facilitate efficient algorithms and allows for faster sorting, searching, and retrieval of data. Data structures are used in a wide range of applications, from database management systems to computer networks.

Data structures enable programmers to create efficient programs by allowing them to easily access and manage the data they need. This can be done through the use of various algorithms such as binary search trees, hash tables, heap sort algorithms, linked lists, graphs, stacks, queues and more. By using these data structures effectively with the right algorithms, it becomes possible to store large amounts of information in memory and retrieve the desired piece quickly.

For example, a linked list allows for quick insertion and removal of items into a list without having to shift all elements around like you would have to with an array or other linear data structure. Binary search trees on the other hand allow for quickly finding elements that meet certain criteria as long as it is sorted beforehand. Hash tables are great for fast lookup times when dealing with associative arrays or dictionaries while heaps allow for retrieving elements based on priority levels quickly. Graphs are another important type of data structure which prove useful when dealing with problems that involve large networks or connections between multiple objects such as routes between cities in navigation apps or friendships in social networks.