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Is there any difference between educational data and education data, or can we use them interchangeably?

I have read the two terms used in a similar fashion:

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/ceds/:

CEDS is a specified set of the most commonly used education data elements to support the effective exchange of data within and across states.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/why-students-should-own-their-educational-data/54329:

Why Students Should Own Their Educational Data.

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@200_success Thanks for the edit, sorry I had forgotten to insert the right tags. –  Franck Dernoncourt Aug 24 at 17:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Education, in this usage, is a noun adjunct: an noun being used as an adjective. It means "relating to the field of teaching and learning".

Educational is the usual adjective form. Its meaning is more versatile. In addition to the "of or relating to the provision of education" meaning, it could also mean "intended or serving to educate or enlighten", as in "I just watched an educational documentary about cats."

Therefore, the terms are not interchangeable in general, but they are interchangeable for the two examples you provided.

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It depends on the context:

Data that teaches you something or supports your learning could be called educational data.

Data resulting from the analysis of education or educational processes could be called education data.

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