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A unique dictionary is associated with each SEER*Stat database. The dictionary consists of variables which describe the data fields in the database. These variables can be used to group the data in different ways. For example, a variable may be defined for sex to stratify results in three groups: a group for both sexes combined, a group for males, and a group for females. A second variable based on sex could be defined and used when you want to generate statistics that do not include both sexes combined. This variable would only have two groupings, one for males and one for females.

Creating and editing variables in the dictionary does not change the underlying data in the database; however, it provides a powerful mechanism for analyzing and reporting the data. In the above example, "Both sexes combined" is not a value that exists in the database. Individual records have the values of either "male" or "female" in SEER databases. "Both sexes combined" is a format or grouping defined for the variable.

The original variables distributed in a dictionary are known as "standard variables". You can use the dictionary to create user-defined and merged variables using the standard variables as a template.

Note that a dictionary is specific to a database. Variables created for one database may be incorporated into other databases using SEER*Stat's features for exporting and importing variables.

Open the Dictionary

  1. Open a session.
  2. Select a database in the Select Database dialog.
  3. Click the dictionary icon (Dictionary Icon) in the toolbar to display the Dictionary Dialog.