Sure, well-thought out data structures were an integral part of good clean code, but the bulk of data was an artifact of software in the form of logs and largely unused database records, not the "center" of anything. Today, there are many people who take these logs and database records and run very specialized code on them. I entered industry in the mid 2000s and it was very difficult to find jobs that concentrated on this component back then. We're often called data scientists today, and there's orders of magnitude more attention that goes into it. This is a real shift that has brought data into the "center" of many organizations.