Health and social care - data strategy: consultation

We are gathering views on how data should be used and managed, across health and social care. These views will help shape the development of Scotland’s first data strategy for health and social care.

11. Glossary of terms

Glossary of Terms: Special, unusual, or technical words or expressions used in relation to the Data Strategy for health and social care.

Anonymised Data

Data that has been processed in such a manner that personal data cannot be attributed to a specific individual.


A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.

Data Accessibility

The extent to which people can use data available to them.


Determined by or dependent on the collection or analysis of data.

Data Point

An identifiable element in a data set.

Data Standards

A technical specification that describes how data should be stored or exchanged for the consistent collection and flow of data across different systems, sources, and users.

Data Strategy

A Data Strategy is a long-term, guiding plan that defines the people, processes, and technology to put in place to solve data challenges and support organisational goals.

Deep Learning

Deep learning is a type of machine learning that trains a computer to perform human-like tasks, such as recognising speech, identifying images, or making predictions.

Digital Health and social care

Digital health is a field that includes digital care programs that are related to enhancing the delivery of health and wellbeing products and services.

Direct Care

A clinical, social or public health activity concerned with the prevention, investigation and treatment of illness and the alleviation of suffering of individuals


Consistent treatment of the people of Scotland, empowering individual voices

Health and Social Care

A term used to describe services that are available across health and social care in Scotland. It includes services provided by NHS, local authorities, third and independent sectors.

Health and Social Care Data

Information about an individual or many people: health and social care data is information generated by individuals or agencies in the health and social care sector. This can be people using fit-bits, health and social care services or researchers. It can be used to provide a care package or plan services. It can also be pooled together ("aggregated data"), for example to produce statistics or management information.


New ideas or methods.


The ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.

Machine Learning

The use of data and algorithms automatically by machines to gradually improving their accuracy in a desired output without explicit instructions.

Management Information

Management information is data that relates to business activity. Management information can be used to inform business needs, planning and decision-making. For example, information relating to NHS waiting times or availability of staff in care settings.

Protected Characteristics

Protected characteristics are specific aspects of a person's identity defined by the Equality Act 2010. The 'protection' relates to protection from discrimination. Everyone in the UK is protected, whether they identify with a minority or majority expression of a characteristic.


A systematic approach to communication, arming individuals with meaningful information.



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