A data structure is the storage of data, using a mathematical object. The data is arranged and linked in a specific way. Through the special structure of a data structure, one tries to implement desired functions particularly efficiently, whereby one usually optimises either for low memory requirements or high speed.
The data is divided into elements. The individual elements are placed in regular relations, e.g. a predecessor and successor relation.
In computer science the term Abstract Data Type (ADT) has become established. This term is closely related to the concept of data abstraction and especially data encapsulation. An abstract data type basically describes nothing more than a data encapsulation.
When an abstract data type is defined, you don’t have to worry about the structure or implementation of the data, you just specify which operations this abstract data type should be able to perform.