Meta data is all information regarding the data, except the numbers or text which can be referred to as the data itself. When we refer to meta data, think about:

  • Node/variable names
  • Labels used to report
  • Type of the variables (string / numeric / single / multiple / date / respondentID / weight factor)
  • Answer categories
  • Missing values
  • Etc

In spss the meyta daa view is also known as variable view. Other companies might refer to meta data when they mention "codebook".