Search Data Elements

A data element is a unique unit of information that is defined using a name and attributes. Data elements can be found in text fields, radio groups, checkboxes, dropdown menus, or files that take attachments.

The Search Data Elements page includes a full-text search box, filters to narrow the search, and a search results section with expandable rows that display data element details.

Table Features
Full Text Search Box
  • The full text search is a Google-like natural language search that, by default, searches all fields (data element name and data element definition). The drop-down menu also allows users to narrow the search to one of these two fields. Click Full Text Search for details on the search feature.
Total Number of Results
  • Total number of results indicates the total number of records returned by the search. The total number is displayed at the top and bottom of each page.
Number of Records per Page
  • Number of pages per search depends on the number of records retrieved and the number displayed per page. The default number of records per page is 10. Users can click the Display records drop-down menu to change the number of records displayed per page.
Navigation to Other Pages
  • Navigation to other pages is available through the navigation features located at the top and bottom of the page. Users can click on a page number to move forward and backward between pages.
Table Columns
  • Data Element (DE) Name
    • The value displayed is a hyperlink to the Data Element Details page.
  • Definition
    • Explains the meaning of the data element/term displayed, if available.
      • The definition column displays the meaning of the data element, if provided by the source. If a definition for any terms is available, the data element name(s) also displays in the definition column, with a hyperlink to the detailed information pop-up window.
      • When users click the definition hyperlink, the Data Element Detailed Information window pops up. The window displays the data element name in the top bar, followed by a table with columns identifying the definition, definition source, and category.
  • Definition Source
    • Source of the definition (with external link if available).
  • Category
    • The business type related to the data element.
  • Additional Information
    • Each record in the data elements search results section can be expanded by clicking the plus [+] symbol to the left of the Data Element Name to reveal more attributes.
Report Format

The filters provide a convenient way to narrow the search results. The results can be filtered by the following fields:

  • Form Name - Select single filter
  • Definition Source - Select single filter
  • Category - Select single filter
    • When "Agency Specific" is selected, additional selections for "Agency" and "Sub Group" are displayed.

The results of the search can be sorted by data element name or definition source, in ascending or descending order.


Report Downloads

The downloads feature allows users to create download files in four formats.

  • The CSV download file format includes all data elements that appear on the search results page, as well as the search parameters that generated the results. In the definition column, a definition of the data element is provided if available. If there is no definition available, related data elements may be listed in the Definition column with definition that may help users understand the meaning of a data element. Other useful details, such as the date of download, sort order, and number of data elements returned in the search are provided. [NOTE: in the CSV format, a table of related or alternate data elements appears at the end of the file.]
  • The following columns are provided for each data element displayed:
    • Data Element Name, Definition, Category, Definition Source, Release Date, Field Labels, Set, Form Name
  • The following columns are provided for each related data element in a table at the end of the file:
    • Key Term, Definition, Definition Source, Category
  • To change the pre-programmed display or columns, users can select the Custom download option.
  • The PDF download mirrors the CSV download but is provided as a formatted PDF file. The PDF download also includes a hyperlink of the related data elements in the Definition column, which links to the page where the related data element resides, together with its attributes.
  • The XML download provides the search results in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format.
  • Users may select data element or form attributes to include in a custom report. Choosing Attributes. (Hold the cursor over the attributes to view their definitions and explanatory text.) Click the Download CSV button and follow prompts to save the report as a CSV file.