Data Structures form the cornerstone of efficient programming. They are a fundamental concept in computer science, designed to organize and manipulate data efficiently. Data structures dictate how data is stored, arranged, and accessed, providing a means to manage large amounts of information. Common types of data structures include arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs. The proper choice of data structure can enhance the efficiency of an algorithm and can significantly improve the performance of software or systems.