data element


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to data element: data structure

data element

[′dad·ə ‚el·ə·mənt]
(computer science)
A set of data items pertaining to information of one kind, such as months of a year.

data element

The fundamental data structure in a data processing system. Any unit of data defined for processing is a data element; for example, ACCOUNT NUMBER, NAME, ADDRESS and CITY. A data element is defined by size (in characters) and type (alphanumeric, numeric only, true/false, date, etc.). A specific set of values or range of values may also be part of the definition.

Technically, a data element is a logical definition of data, whereas a field is the physical unit of storage in a record. For example, the data element ACCOUNT NUMBER, which exists only once, is stored in the ACCOUNT NUMBER field in each customer record and in the ACCOUNT NUMBER field in each order record. See field.


The Basic Unit of Storage
Technically, data elements describe the logical unit of data, fields are the actual storage units, and data items are the individual instances of the data elements as in this example. In practice, all three terms may be used interchangeably. However, technical documentation on database management should employ the terms properly.
References in periodicals archive ?
In cases where the name of the Data Element was ambiguous, the parent object was examined to determine where it should be included.
The WSLM CBM data governance structure has a charter to address the three key elements of data infrastructure management: data definitions, technical standards and unambiguous assignment of institutional responsibility to maintain the single authoritative copy of each governed data element.
The eScholar Complete Data Warehouse includes over 2,000 data elements.
Documentation of the data elements the instance document describes.
Concurrent with the preparation of the data elements, the FBI studied the various state systems to select an experimental site for implementing the redesigned Program.
The software program represented in the figure has identified several data elements that were not included in charges entered via a handheld electronic superbill device.
Because XBRL transcends the limitations of such data formats, it eliminates errors that occur during data re-entry and it minimizes the risk of losing "metadata," or verbal descriptions of individual data elements.
Other data element standards are being developed or available.
To assist SLED with the pilot project, offense definitions and data elements developed under the private contract were put at the staff's disposal.
Most agencies reporting data electronically to the national UCR Program via the NIBRS use a data element within their reporting software that indicates the incident involved a bias motivation.
When you secure data from Deluxe Data Resources to enhance your customer and prospect files, you pay only for the true match to your files -- data element by data element.
Once the mirrored data element is established by copying the original data element, the mirror is maintained by replicating all write operations in two (or more) places creating identical copies.
Full browser ?