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Data Systems Glossary < Making NRS Work< Home

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Accessibility
The means by which users will access a system

Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time by a network connection or interface. Bandwidth represents the capacity of the connection.

Benchmark testing
A means of measuring system performance by having it perform a set of well-defined tasks. May be used to compare performance between systems.

Canned reports
Predefined reports in the application’s menu structure where end-users can access programs to generate reports. Information in the reports can be used to answer important or commonly recurring questions.

Compatibility
The degree to which capabilities or needs of technologies work coincide with other technologies or in-house expertise.

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Exported data
Data contained in onsite systems that are sent to another location.

Extensibility
The ease with which the functionality of a system can be extended or modified to meet growing needs.

Functionality
The functions of a system.

Inputs
Information that must be entered or obtained from an external source.

Interoperability
The ability of a data system to work with other systems within or outside an organization.

Maintainability
Ease with which software can be updated or fixed by qualified technical staff.

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Onsite system
System design in which separate copies of your software are installed in field locations. All functions are available locally, including reports.

Operating conditions
The conditions under which a system will run. Examples include number of users, available technologies, intensity of use.

Outputs
Reports, data, graphs, and other information products that can be obtained from a system.

Platform
A collection of technologies a system needs to operate: the computer operating system (Window/Linux), database management system (e.g. Oracle), programming language, and a Web server on Web-based systems.

Processing rules
Rules that specify how to determine whether inputs are valid, how data are used and managed, and how outputs are generated.

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Reliability
A system’s stability, database accuracy, and ease of recovery from problems.

Requirements document
A specification that contains a functional description of the system and important technical characteristics.

Scalability
A system’s ability to perform, given an increasing workload.

Usability
Degree to which a system is easy to operate by its users.

User interface
The aspects of a computer system that can be perceived by the human user, and the commands and mechanisms used to control its operation and input data.

Web-based system
Provides access to a single software system over the Internet for users wherever they are using a Web-browser.

Web-browser
Software program that allows you to access Web pages on the Internet (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator).

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From Developing an NRS Data System: Putting the Pieces Together training held in 2004.
The National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) is administered by the Division of Adult Education and Literacy in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.