I have a table that shows the number of elements added, deleted, and changed in a graph. I'm calling the sum of additions + deletions + changes the "differences." I also want to include a column that shows the "percentage of elements that are different"--for simplicity, let's say this percentage is the number of differences divided by the total number of elements.

My first thought is to call this percent different or difference percentage or modification factor but it seems like there should be a more commonly-used term for this. I also considered percent changed but since "change" has a specific technical meaning in this table I can't use that. Any suggestions?


I feel that if you put percentage into the title of it when that is going to be shown by the actual value, it may feel a bit redundant.

Maybe consider something like Adjusted Proportion or Affected/Altered Portion.

This will be slightly influenced by the data your presenting since you said 'Change' is already reserved for another meaning. Hopefully that gets the feeling across that it is a slice of changes, shown by the X%.

  • I like "percent altered."
    – Carolyn
    Aug 1 '14 at 18:56
  • I agree including percentage in the title seems redundant.
    – rob
    Aug 1 '14 at 19:03

Delta is commonly used to express change or amount of change. If you want to express the change as a percentage, use the percent symbol after the numerical values. Or you can use % Delta or Delta % as a column header.

The greek capital letter for delta may also be used, if space is a problem. (Sorry, I don't have a keyboard that I can type that with at the moment.)

  • Delta would be a better match for "sum of additions + deletions + changes."
    – Carolyn
    Aug 1 '14 at 18:57
  • But % delta would adress the op's need. Aug 1 '14 at 18:58
  • Thanks for the suggestions. The delta character would be perfect if we hadn't already used it in many places to denote a "changed" element. (D'oh!)
    – rob
    Aug 1 '14 at 19:08

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