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Terms and Definitions

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Aggregation
The process of consolidating data values into a single value. For example, sales data could be collected on a daily basis and then be aggregated to the week level, the week data could be aggregated to the month level, and so on. The data can then be referred to as aggregate data. Aggregation is synonymous with summarization, and aggregate data is synonymous with summary data.
Association Entity Type
Functional associations among individuals, organizations, events, and programs.
Attribute
An Attribute is information about an entity that you can measure, classify, or describe. An attribute is not a calculation or statistic, and it generally does not contain counts.
Class
A Class is a set, collection, group, or configuration containing members regarded as having certain attributes or traits in common; a kind or category.
Code/Option Set
A constrained set of options/codes further describing attributes. Options are listed in alphabetical order, and in many case have assigned code numbers. Options presented are generally illustrative, not mandatory. In some cases, a subset of options might be sufficient when designing a data system or data collection instrument. Common Attribute
Attributes are usually specific to each entity. However, a small set of attributes exist that apply to multiple entities. These attributes are referred to as Common Attributes.
Concept Map
A representation of a logical and finite set of relationships among classes, subclasses, and entities, striving to depict the entire domain of education information.
Conceptual Data Model
A map of concepts and relationships important to address user needs. Specifically, it describes the things of significance to an organization (entity classes), about which it is inclined to collect information, and characteristics of (attributes) and associations between pairs of those things of significance (relationships). A conceptual model is not constrained by any kind of database technology.
Education Leadership Artifact Entity Type
Artifacts are related to the leadership of teaching and learning processes.
Education View
The Education View presents the National Education Data Model in a top-down format based upon major education areas.
Entity
An Entity is the basic building block of the Data Model. Entities are the constructs that need to be tracked, measured, and described by software systems in order to support education processes.
Entity-relationship
An Entity-relationship is an abstract and conceptual representation of data. Entity-relationship modeling is a database modeling method, used to produce a type of conceptual schema or semantic data model of a system, often a relational database, and its requirements in a top-down fashion.
Event Entity Type
The Event entities represent any event within the education organization.
Information Exchange Entity Type
The Information Exchange entities represent information being communicated.
Instruction Artifact Entity Type
These entities represent any piece of information related to a student’s learning or the general learning process.
Logical Data Model
A representation of an organization's data, organized in terms of a particular data management technology. In most cases today, the technology being used to represent information is a relational database; therefore, logical models often have tables, columns, and foreign key relationships.
Modeling Software
Modeling Software is any artificial language that can be used to express information or knowledge or systems in a structure that is defined by a consistent set of rules.
National Education Data Model (NEDM)
A conceptual but detailed representation of the education information domain meant to create a catalogue of data used in education and a description of the relationships among those data. Its mission is to create an open framework based on current standards for education data systems.
NEDM Entity
The basic building block of the Data Model. Entities are the constructs that need to be tracked, measured, and described by software systems in order to support education processes.
NEDM Attribute
Information about an entity that you can measure, classify, or describe. An attribute is generally the most granular data feasible, not a calculation or statistic such as a count. However, certain calculated attributes, such as AYP or GPA, that require complex transformations may require calculations to be stored as attributes.
NEDM Common Attribute
An attribute that applies to more than one entity.
NEDM Class
A set, collection, group, or configuration containing members regarded as having certain attributes or traits in common; a kind of category.
NEDM Data Set
Represents collections of data that are outside the core of the NEDM data model but are essential or important to the education process. This includes collections and Federal reports like IPEDS and EDFacts, and standards like the PESC and SIF Association data models. These data sets are linked to the core model through relationships defined in the model. Each entity will list the data set elements that are associated with it
NEDM Education View
A presentation of NEDM in a top-down format based upon major education areas.
NEDM Element
A granular component of a Data Set expressing an instance of an entity-attribute/relationship.
NEDM Relationships
The interaction between two entities.
NEDM Sub-class
A class that is a subcategory of another class; for example, in the Data Model, a Staff Member is a sub-class of Service Provider and Service Provider is a sub-class of Person.
NEDM Taxonomy
A hierarchy that uses classes and may use sub-classes to categorize based on like characteristics.
NEDM Technical View
A presentation of NEDM that allows a user to view and browse a standard entity, attribute, and relationship taxonomy.
NEDM View
An application of NEDM to a particular context.
Object-oriented Design
Object-oriented Design is the process of planning a system of interacting objects for the purpose of solving a software problem.
Open Source Tools
Open Source Tools are an approach to the design, development, and distribution of software, offering practical accessibility to a software's source code.
Operations Artifact Entity Type
These entities relate to the administrative or operational side of the organization.
Organization Entity Type
These entities represent the grouping of resources and people in order to reach a particular goal.
OWL (Web Ontology Language)
OWL (Web Ontology Language) is an XML language for expressing relationships and is a standard published by the W3C web standards group. The OWL language represents both a taxonomy of entities, as well as multiple types of simultaneous relations among the entities.
Person Entity Type
Individuals within the education setting.
Physical Data Model
A representation of a data design which takes into account the facilities and constraints of a given database management system. A physical data model implements the conceptual data model using a particular technology, such as a relational database. The physical model also takes into account local requirements for the system as well as conventions and requirements of the database software.
Place Entity Type
These entities represent the locality or area within the education environment.
Program Entity Type
A plan of activities and procedures to accomplish a set of objectives.
Relation
In addition to the taxonomy structure (based on entity characteristics), the Data Model contains Relations, which are natural relationships among the entities.
Sub-class
A Sub-class is a class that is a subcategory of another class; for example, in the Data Model, a Staff Member is a sub-class of Service Provider and Service Provider is a sub-class of Person.
Taxonomy
The entities, classes and attributes in the Data Model are organized into a Taxonomy which arranges items into categories based on like characteristics.
Technical View
The Technical View allows easy access to the Data Model without having to install software on a computer. The Browser allows the user to view and browse the full Data Model taxonomy.
Unified Modeling Language (UML)
A Unified Modeling Language is a standardized general-purpose modeling language in the field of software engineering.
x_Extensions Entity Type
This class is not a regular part of the Data Model. It is a category that contains extensions to the Data Model. For example, the category could hold Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) input file definitions or fact table definitions for a data warehouse. This category allows concepts that are not allowed in the Data Model, such as aggregate statistics or report definitions, to be linked to entities and relationships in the Data Model.
XML (Extensible Markup Language)
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a set of rules for encoding documents electronically. It is designed to transport data, not to display data.



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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education