Consortium for Higher Education Software Services (CHESS)

Click here for the Data Definitions CD Documentation file

The second edition of the Data Definitions resource provides both a starting point for colleges and universities constructing or modifying institutional information architecture and a set of “free-license” web-based software for creation and maintenance of an institutional data dictionary and taxonomy of activities. It will be particularly valuable in data warehouse efforts and will help establish and maintain the integrity of institutional information in client/server and distributed database environments. As a college or university develops an institutional information architecture (a taxonomy of administrative activities and a data dictionary), many of the required data elements will follow established standards. Even when more refined coding structures are required, institutional data categories sometimes must be aggregated to standard categories for government reporting, and these standards are incorporated into the Data Definitions.

Based on a wide variety of sources, this volume replaces the 1996 edition of the CHESS Data Definitions for Colleges and Universities. It provides a great deal of information from many publications, government documents, industry standards, and institutional examples for developing the definitions and coding structures necessary for administrative information systems in colleges and universities. This edition is also authored by Charles R. Thomas, the author of the first edition of the NCHEMS Data Element Dictionary published in 1971 and the first edition of the CHESS Data Definitions for Colleges and Universities published in 1996.

Data Definitions will:

Available on a single compact disk, this reference volume includes definitions for over 780 individual data elements in six sections:

Over 120 tables of codes, categories and descriptions and the third edition of the CHESS Taxonomy of Activities for Colleges and Universities are also included.
All data definitions are cross-referenced to activities listed in the Taxonomy to assist institutions in establishing institution-wide data integration and sharing. The database is recorded in Microsoft Access® format and “free-license” web-based software is included for maintenance. The database may also be maintained with Access, and the tables of codes are maintained in Microsoft Excel® format. A click on the Documentation button in the demonstration will display the documentation for the MetaData Administrator software. Detailed installation instructions are included on the compact disc.

The cost of the compact disk and single-institution license is $795, and NCHEMS member institutions receive a 10% discount.

Click here for a copy of the order form for the CHESS Data Definitions.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the CHESS MetaData Administrator.

Contact: Clara Roberts at (303) 497-0390 or clara@nchems.org for general or ordering information or
Chuck Thomas at (312) 951-1876 or crt@northwestern.edu for other questions