[a] basic unit of information built on standard structures having a unique meaning and and subcategories (data items) of distinct value. Examples of data elements include gender, race, and geographic location."
1. A basic unit of information built on standard structures having a unique meaning and distinct units or values. 2. In electronic recordkeeping, a combination of characters or bytes referring to one separate item of information, such as name, address, or age.
[a] basic unit of identifiable information and definable information. A data element occupies the space provided by fields in a record or blocks on a form. It has an identifying name and value or values for expressing a specific fact. For example, a data element named "Color of Eyes" could have recorded values of "Blue (a name)", "BL (an abbreviation)" or "06 (a code)." Similarly, a data element named "Age of Employee" could have a recorded value of "28 (a numeric value)".