Accuracy (of measurement)

Definition 1: accuracy in the general statistical sense denotes the closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values.

Source: Handbook on Data Quality Assessment Methods and Tools, European Commission/EUROSTAT, 2007


Definition 2: closeness of agreement between a measured quantity value and a true quantity value of a measurand (i.e. quantity intended to be measured)

NOTE 1 The concept ‘measurement accuracy’ is not a quantity and is not given a numerical quantity value. A measurement is said to be more accurate when it offers a smaller measurement error.

NOTE 2 The term “measurement accuracy” should not be used for measurement trueness and the term measurement precision should not be used for ‘measurement accuracy’, which, however, is related to both these concepts.

NOTE 3 ‘Measurement accuracy’ is sometimes understood as closeness of agreement between measured quantity values that are being attributed to the measurand.

Source: International vocabulary of metrology — Basic and general concepts and associated terms (VIM), JCGM 200:2008



Definition 3: the characteristic of a measure

Source:  Glossary, American Society for Quality (ASQ)



Definition 4: Closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.


The accuracy of statistical information is the degree to which the information correctly describes the phenomena. It is usually characterized in terms of error in statistical estimatesand is often decomposed into bias (systematic error) and variance (random error) components. In SDMX, "Accuracy" can contain either measures of accuracy (numerical results of the methods for assessing the accuracy or precision of data) or qualitative assessment indicators. It may also be described in terms of the major sources of error that potentially cause inaccuracy (e.g., coverage, sampling, non response, response error).

Narrower term: Accuracy – overall.

In SDMX, Accuracy overall refers to the results of the overall assessment of accuracy, summarising the various components into one single measure linked to a certain data set or domain. 

Source:  Metadata Common Vocabulary, Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) - BIS, ECB, Eurostat, IBRD, IMF, OECD and UNSD.


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