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Terms Glossary

The Terms Glossary includes helpful acronyms and definitions for terms frequently used by statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS), cloud data platform, and big data analytics professionals.


The privilege or assigned permission to use computer data or resources in a specific manner. Access restricts the use and distribution of information, settings, as well as the general use of a system.

Access 4 Learning Community (A4L)

Previously the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) Association, A4L is a nonprofit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, U.S. and international ministries of education, software vendors, and consultants who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and ACCESS to support learning.

Access Controls

Controls that limit entry to information system resources to authorized USERS, programs, processes, or other systems. Components of an access control system include physical access controls (e.g., locks on doors to a server room), AUTHENTICATION systems that verify the identity of a user or client machine attempting to log into a system, and file ENCRYPTION that makes data unreadable to anyone who does not possess the cipher key or encryption ALGORITHM.


An alteration of environment, format, or equipment that allows an individual to gain ACCESS to content and/or complete assigned tasks.


The closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.


A process for solving a problem or performing a calculation. Algorithms are used in DATA SCIENCE to detect and utilize statistical relationships in large sets of data.


The process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data.


The process of data de-identification, which produces DE-IDENTIFIED DATA, where individual records cannot be linked back to an original STUDENT record or to other individual records from the same source because they do not include a RECORD CODE needed to link the records.


Anonymized data are DE-IDENTIFIED data that do not include a RE-IDENTIFICATION code. In an anonymized data file, the STUDENT case numbers in the data records cannot be linked back to the original student record.


An Application Programming Interface (API) is a computing interface that defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc.