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Colorado Social Determinants of Health Digital Platform
Data 101: Data Literacy


Because Shift is committed to building the capacity of social change organizations to use data, we're bringing you Data 101, a social media campaign aimed at increasing data literacy by providing definitions to widely-used data terms and concepts. As part of this campaign, we are including a glossary of data terms on our website. Scroll below to access the terms and their definitions in alphabetical order. We’ll continue to add new terms to the glossary, so be sure to check back and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the Data 101 Word of the Week.



AnalysisAnalysis is the detailed examination of anything complex in order to understand its nature or to determine its essential features. Shift conducts analysis through its Research and Community Assessment lines of service to better understand the challenges facing the Denver metro region, then we make the findings available through reports and digital information tools.





BiasBias means preferring one side of an issue without fully considering or understanding the opposite side. People can be biased because of what’s popular, or from believing stereotypes or rumors. The opposite of a biased view is an objective view.





CensusCensus is a complete enumeration, usually of a population, but also of businesses and commercial establishments, housing, farms, governments, and so forth. Shift utilizes census data for many of its open data tools, including Community Facts and the Data Engine.





CSVComma Separated Value (CSV) is data with commas as the delimiter. This format can be read into almost every spreadsheet application, such as the commonly used Microsoft Excel.





DatabaseA database is a program that lets you store, organize and manipulate data. The Colorado Data Engine is a reliable, go-to database for accessible, neighborhood-level data.





DemographicDemographics are the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc.





Demographic AnalysisDemographic analysis is a technique used to develop an understanding of the age, sex, and racial composition of a population and how it has changed over time through the basic demographic processes of birth, death, and migration. Demographic analysis (usually abbreviated as DA) also refers to a specific set of techniques for developing national population estimates by age, sex, and race from administrative records to be used to assess the quality of the decennial census.




Denver Metro RegionThe Denver metro region is the seven-county region of Denver comprised of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties.





DisadvantagedDisadvantaged is lacking the normal or usual necessities and comforts of life, such as proper housing, educational opportunities, job security, adequate medical care, etc.





Ethnic PluralityEthnic plurality is a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization.

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