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 3 names in this directory beginning with the letter I.
acronym for “International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition”. A system for classifying diseases and injuries developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and used worldwide to improve comparability of cause of death statistics reported from different countries.

general term for a thing that tells us the state or level of something. “Four-year graduation rate” tells us something about how well kids in a high school do and “temperature” tells us something about how hot or cold it is. An indicator isn’t necessarily a good indicator. Often used interchangeably with measure. “Indicator” is not synonymous with “data;” indicators are calculated from data.

Integrated data system (IDS)
links records across datasets, usually from schools and other human service agencies, using a common identifier to assemble a more complete data “picture” of individual people and/or groups of people like families. Can vary widely in purpose, topic, size, and functionality.




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.