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A primary data element is
|“||[a] data element or elements that is/are the subject of a record. Usually the other elements, called attribute data elements, qualify or quantify the primary data element (e.g., in a personnel field, the element(s) that is/are used to identify the individual are primary; other elements such as "Date of Birth" and "Mailing Address" are attribute data elements).||”|
- ↑ Emphasis Needed on Government's Efforts To Standardize Data Elements and Codes for Computer Systems, Glossary of Terms, at 60.