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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.

Authorization

The permission to access nonpublic information or use equipment that is either fully or partially restricted, and the process of establishing what actions the authorized USER is permitted to perform.

Authorized Disclosure

See UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE, DISCLOSURE, and IDENTITY DISCLOSURE.

Authorized Representative

Any entity or individual designated by a state or local education authority or an agency headed by an official listed in 34 CFR §99.31(a)(3) (i.e., Comptroller General of U.S., U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of Education, and state or local educational authorities) to conduct—with respect to federal- or state-supported EDUCATION PROGRAMS—any AUDIT or evaluation, or any compliance or enforcement activity in connection with federal legal requirements that relate to these programs.

Baseline

The level of performance at the start of DATA COLLECTION or program that can be used to measure change in indicators in the future.

Bias

The values or beliefs of individuals conducting research and evaluation that can influence the results, including the information to be collected, how it is collected, which ANALYSES are optimal, and how the results should be presented. Bias needs to be recognized, controlled for, and mitigated to minimize potential errors and/or subjectivity in results that can occur by selecting a value, outcome, or answer over others based on values or beliefs—whether intentional or unintentional.

Biometric Record

Defined by FERPA regulations as one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, and handwriting.

Blurring

A DISCLOSURE LIMITATION METHOD that is used to reduce the precision of the disclosed data to minimize the certainty of individual IDENTIFICATION. There are many possible ways to implement blurring, such as by converting continuous DATA ELEMENTS into categorical data elements (e.g., creating categories that subsume unique cases), aggregating data across small groups of respondents, and reporting rounded values and ranges instead of exact counts to reduce the certainty of identification. Another approach involves replacing an individual’s actual reported value with the average group value; it may be performed on more than one variable with different groupings for each variable.

Brute-Force Attack

A type of malicious attack against an information technology system in which the attacker repeatedly attempts to gain ACCESS by presenting all possible combinations of access credentials, such as a password, until a match is found. A hacker attempting to gain access to a system by guessing all possible combinations of characters in a password is an example of a brute-force attack.

Business Intelligence

An umbrella term that includes the APPLICATIONS, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable ACCESS to and ANALYSIS of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.

Business Logic

Also known as domain logic, business logic is a set of custom rules or ALGORITHMS that handle the exchange of information between a DATABASE and USER INTERFACE. Business logic consists of BUSINESS RULES, which are policies that govern various aspects of a business, and WORKFLOWS, which are sequences of steps that specify in detail the flow of information or data. An example of business logic is the method of calculating average ATTENDANCE based on attendance sheets.