Data element  

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In metadata, the term data element is an atomic unit of data that has precise meaning or precise semantics. A data element has:

  1. An identification such as a data element name
  2. A clear data element definition
  3. One or more representation terms
  4. Optional enumerated values Code (metadata)
  5. A list of synonyms to data elements in other metadata registries Synonym ring

Data elements usage can be discovered by inspection of software applications or application data files through a process of manual or automated Application Discovery and Understanding. Once data elements are discovered they can be registered in a metadata registry.

In telecommunication, the term data element has the following components:

  1. A named unit of data that, in some contexts, is considered indivisible and in other contexts may consist of data items.
  2. A named identifier of each of the entities and their attributes that are represented in a database.
  3. A basic unit of information built on standard structures having a unique meaning and distinct units or values.
  4. In electronic record-keeping, a combination of characters or bytes referring to one separate item of information, such as name, address, or age.

In the areas of databases and data systems more generally a data element is a concept forming part of a data model. As an element of data representation, a collection of data elements forms a data structure.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Data element" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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