We report on the results of a study into the characteristics of the blockwise discrete Fourier transform (DFT) coefficients of digital hologram data, with the aim of efficiently compressing the data. We captured digital holograms (whole Fresnel fields) of three-dimensional (3D) objects using phase-shift interferometry. The complex-valued fields were decomposed into nonoverlapping blocks of 8 x 8 pixels and transformed with the DFT. The inter-block distributions of the 64 Fourier coefficients were analyzed to determine the relative importance of each coefficient. Through techniques of selectively removing coefficients, or groups of coefficients, we were able to trace the relative importance of coefficients throughout a hologram, and over multiple holograms. We used rms error in the reconstructed image to quantify importance in the DFT domain. We have found that the positions of the most important coefficients are common throughout four of the five digital holograms in our test suite. These results will aid us in our aim of creating a general-purpose DFT quantization table that could be universally applied to digital hologram data of 3D objects as part of a JPEG-style compressor.