This Glossary of Common Data Terms was developed locally as a non-technical resource for those interested in expanding their functional data vocabulary. This glossary contains commonly used data terms defined in easy-to-understand language. Although the definitions are informal and non-academic, the following academic texts heavily informed their development:

Shryock, H.S., and Siegel, J.S. The Methods and Materials of Demography. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1976.
Haupt, A. and Kane, T.T. Population Handbook. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, Inc., 1978.

Click here for a printable version of the Glossary of Common Data Terms.

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There are currently 4 names in this directory beginning with the letter D.
a high-level graphic report that provides a summary of related data. “Dashboard” is often misused as a buzzword synonymous with all data visualizations.

broad concept that generally means a collection of values or pieces of information. Among other characteristics, data may be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (non-numerical, like words or images), raw or processed, record-level or aggregated (grouped), and primary (collected/created for the purpose of answering a question) or secondary (created for some other purpose). “Data” and “indicators” are not the same thing; indicators are calculated from data.

the study of population dynamics including size, structure, distribution, and how populations change over time due to births, deaths, migration, and aging.

number below the line in a common fraction.




Below are a few of the many free resources available online for those who would like to learn more about data, from the basics to advanced concepts and skills.

  1. School of Data.
  2. Data-Pop Alliance.
  3. Oceans of Data Institute.