Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about Data Item Descriptions are listed below.


Data Item Descriptions

Q: What is a data?
A: Data is recorded information, regardless of form or method of recording.             

Q: What is a data item description (DID)? 
A: A DID is a standardization document that defines the data required of a contractor. The DID specifically defines the data content, format, and intended use.

Q: What is a DID Approval Authority (DID-AA)? 
A: There is an assigned DID-AA in each Military Department and some Defense Agencies who are delegated responsibility to approve new, revised, and cancelled DIDs in their respective Military Department/Agency. For OSD organizations and Defense Agencies with no DID-AA assigned, DSPO serves as the DID-AA. DID-AAs, along with contact information, are listed in the Standards-Related Document-1 (SD-1), and in the DOD Contacts tab within ASSIST.

Q: Where can I obtain a copy of a specific DID?
A: If you know the DID number, you can use the ASSIST Quick Search. Simply enter the 5-digit DID number (do not use revision letters) in the search filed labeled [Document Number:] and click on the [Submit] button.

Q: Is there a website that lists all DIDs?
A: All active and canceled DIDs are indexed in the ASSIST database. To print a list of all DIDs, log into ASSIST. Select the "DIDs" tab at the top of the page to get to the "DID Search" menu. This search screen allows you to generate a list of active DIDs, cancelled DIDs, or all DIDs (both active and cancelled). This same screen allows you to filter results by standardization area, preparing service, preparing activity, or by using the "find term" field. The resultant list is generated in HTML, but may be exported and printed in Adobe pdf or Microsoft Excel format. (Note: If you have never used ASSIST, you will need to register for a user account.)

Q: What is the DID Selector Tool?
A: This tool is available in ASSIST. To access it, log into ASSIST. Select the "DIDs" tab at the top of the page to get to the "DID Search" menu. In the "Select Method" dropdown field, select "DID Selector." This tool is intended to help users select active DIDs that have been identified by subject matter experts for consideration according to one of three priorities: 1=Seriously Consider; 2=Consider; and 3=Consider (narrow application). In addition to a priority, some DIDs also have a Military Department-specific consideration. Users may search for DIDs and filter search results by Product Support Element, Work Breakdown Structure, or Standardization Area. Definitions of these filters may be viewed using the links provided within the tool. Users may also search for a specific word or phrase that appears in the Title, Scope, or Considerations column of the DID Selector search results.

Q: Where can I find an online copy of DoD 5010.12-L, "Acquisition Management
Systems and Data Requirements Control List (AMSDL)"?

A: The AMSDL, which formerly listed all DIDs, was canceled in 2007. ASSIST is the official source for all Department of Defense repetitive use DIDs.