ESS EARF - Glossary

Published on: 10/10/2018
Last update: 04/01/2019




Business Capability

A Business Capability can be defined as "an ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve.” [1]

Business Capabilities Modeling

Business Capabilities Modeling is a technique for representing an organization's business, independent of organization structure, processes, people or business functions.

ESS EARF Building Block related

Building Block

The ESS EARF defines a set of Building Blocks (BBs) which represent (potentially re-usable) components of (IT) capability.

According to TOGAF, a BB has the following characteristics: it evolves such so as to exploit new technologies and standards; it may be assembled from other BBs, or may be a subassembly of other BBs; it is re-usable and replaceable, and well specified.

ESS Standard

An ESS Standard is a normative document, established by consensus among ESS members and approved by a recognised body according to the procedure of ESS standardisation, that provides for common and repeated use by several actors in the ESS, rules, guidelines or characteristics for the development, production and dissemination of European Statistics, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in the context of the implementation of the mission and vision of the ESS.

ESS EARF Principles related


Principles are general rules and guidelines, intended to be enduring and seldom amended, that inform and support the way in which an organization sets about fulfilling its mission.[3]

Information/Data related


Microdata are defined as an observation data collected on an individual object i.e. statistical unit. [4]   


Macrodata are defined as an observation data gained by a purposeful aggregation of statistical microdata conforming to statistical methodology. [5]


Metadata is data that defines and describes other data.[6]

Active metadata

Active metadata are metadata that are structured and accessible in a way that they are used as parameters for computer programs. The possibility of “activation” of metadata requires a sufficient level of structuration of metadata.

Passive metadata

Passive metadata are metadata that are not active, typically consisting of human-readable documentation or reports. Passive metadata can be generated both manually and through the use of computer programs.

Structural metadata

Structural metadata act as identifiers and descriptors of the data. Structural metadata are needed to identify, use, and process data matrixes and data cubes (e.g. names of datasets, columns or measure/dimensions of statistical cubes, code lists).

Reference metadata

Reference metadata describe the contents and the quality of the statistical data. This may include conceptual, methodological or quality metadata (e.g. populations, questionnaires, sample design, imputation rates).

Process metadata

Process metadata describe the processes that created and delivered the data. (e.g. process models, process implementations, processing and validation rules, process metrics).

Business Architecture related

Business Architecture

According to TOGAF, the Business Architecture “describes the product and/or service strategy, and the organizational, functional, process, information, and geographic aspects of the business environment”.[7]



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