Chapter 2: Data
• Collecting data on customers, transactions and sales lets companies track inventory and
know what their customers prefer
o Can help businesses predict what their customers may buy in the future so that they'll
know how much to stock
o Can improve customer service by mimicking the kind of personal attention in the past
o Can better serve their customers and compete more effectively
Transactional data: data collected for recording a company's transactions
Business analytics: any use of statistical analysis to drive business decisions from data, whether
the purpose is predictive or simply descriptive
LO 2.1 What are Data?
Data: Systematically recorded information, whether numbers or labels, together with its context
• Context: the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How
• Information is helpful and meaningful if there is context
• Organize the data into a table
o In general, a row of a data table corresponds to an individual case about whom we
recorded some characteristics
• Who is being measured?
• What is being measured (the variables)?
• When is the data being collected?
• Where is the data being collected?
• Why is the data being collected?
• How is the data being collected?
Case: An individual about whom or which we have data
Respondent: Someone who answers or responds to surveys
Participant (Subject): A human experimental unit.
Experimental Unit: An individual in a study for which or for whom data values are recorded.
Human experimental units are usually called subjects or participants
Record: Information about an individual in a database
Variable: each characteristic recorded about each individual or case
• Usually shown as column of a data table
• If the number of cases (who) is smaller than the number of characteristics (what), we may
interchange rows and columns in a data table