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 S.
Secondary data
existing data that has already been collected by someone else, likely for some purpose different from yours. Two common kinds of secondary data are survey data and administrative data. Also called extant data.

Statistical cut-off
date by which records of vital events for a specific year must be received in order to be included in the statistical analyses for that year.

Statistical significance
likelihood that what is being observed in the data has happened by chance. The more statistically significant an observation is, the less likely it occurred by chance. See p-value.




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.